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5 High-Paying Jobs in the Marijuana Industry

When most people think of marijuana, they’re likely to think of grow ops set up in secret backrooms of shady dealers. But things are changing, especially now that the stigma attached to using the plant begins to fade. The cannabis plant has been used for both medicinal and recreational purposes for as long as we can remember. But governments have only recently recognized—and admitted—that the physical and economic benefits outweigh the dangers of the drug. In fact, with more areas of the world legalizing usage, the marijuana industry is growing and rapidly innovating. Read on to find out the basics of the industry and what some of the highest paying jobs are in the field.

Key Takeaways

  • Medical marijuana is legal in some form in 35 states and the District of Columbia.
  • The cannabis industry is expected to grow by as much as 14% by 2025, according to a cannabis research group.
  • Top roles in the field include consultant, dispensary executive, extraction technician, grow master, and edibles chef.

The Marijuana Industry: An Overview

People’s perceptions of the cannabis industry are evolving thanks to a greater degree of research and available information. In fact, a study conducted by Pew Research suggests two-thirds of Americans welcome the legalization of the plant.   As of November 2020, 35 states and the District of Columbia legalized medical marijuana, while residents in 15 states and D.C have voted to legalize recreational usage of the drug, according to USA Today.

Although many states have legalized marijuana, the federal government still considers it a controlled or illegal substance.

This new reality is helping the development of a multi-billion dollar industry. Cannabis research group New Frontier Data suggests the industry could grow roughly 14%, with sales reaching as high as $30 billion by 2025.   All of this has major benefits for anyone looking to cash in on a career in an industry that had as many as 28,000 related businesses in 2017, according to market and consumer data provider Statista.

If you want a top-paying position in this industry—which is finally gaining respect for its role in helping people ease medical symptoms and side effects and relax and enjoy themselves more—here are five jobs to consider. The joint, as they say, is jumping.

Cannabis Consultant

Consulting is generally a high-paying career path, and the cannabis industry is no exception. Cannabis consultants can earn six figures by combining their expertise in state and local cannabis regulations with their backgrounds as lawyers, accountants, or people with experience in another area of the marijuana industry.

They can help businesses find acceptable locations, obtain the licenses they need, and advise them on other legal matters so they don’t get fined or shut down. They may also help business owners with bookkeeping and tax requirements, which can be especially tricky, as cannabis is generally a cash-only business due to its illegality at the federal level.

Dispensary COO and CFO

Work for a state-licensed medical marijuana dispensary as a chief operating officer (COO) or chief financial officer (CFO) and you could earn $125,000 a year, plus medical and retirement benefits. Job responsibilities may include:

  • Managing cultivation facility operations
  • Managing the company’s accounting department
  • Supervising financial reporting
  • Overseeing harvesting, processing, and distribution
  • Analyzing operations to improve efficiency and reduce costs
  • Developing and monitoring budgets

Even if you don’t have marijuana industry experience, this position may be open to you if you have held a similar role in another industry and are a certified public accountant (CPA).

Cannabis Extraction Technician

A cannabis extraction technician can earn anywhere between $75,000 to $125,000 annually for doing skilled laboratory work, extracting THC, CBD, and other cannabinoids that provide the therapeutic qualities consumers seek from cannabis plants. These techs use solvents such as CO2 and butane to consistently create high-quality, high potency concentrates. This job’s scientific knowledge base—many workers have a PhD—and risk of injury due to the chemicals involved (a risk that’s higher among people attempting to do extractions themselves in home labs than among trained scientists in a professional setting), contribute to its high pay.

Grow Master/Botanical Specialist

For a salary of approximately $80,000 to $100,000 or more per year, a grow master’s responsibilities may include:

  • Managing warehouses and their grow lights
  • Cloning, transplanting, feeding, trimming, and other growing tasks
  • Training supervisors
  • Managing a warehouse crew
  • Managing garden scheduling and organization to minimize expenses
  • Preventing and eliminating molds, fungi, and pests
  • Keeping records
  • Managing harvests

A successful crop can lead to bonuses on top of an excellent salary.

Marijuana Edibles Chef

Being a successful marijuana edibles chef requires more than an ability to cook and bake well and an understanding of commercial kitchens. It also takes an understanding of how to infuse marijuana into food in quantities that are legal and pleasurable while keeping that overwhelming flavor at bay.

In addition to creating edibles like candies and cookies, chefs can use cannabis-infused oils and butter in creative ways to concoct anything they can dream up, from mixed-berry streusel to mushroom ravioli, while earning $40,000 to $50,000 a year or more—perhaps up to $80,000 for leading a kitchen. Opportunities for additional income exist in blogging about cannabis recipes and cooking techniques, working as a private chef, and catering special marijuana-themed events for cannabis connoisseurs, depending on what state marijuana laws permit.

The Bottom Line

The marijuana industry has numerous high-paying jobs in addition to the five covered here. Many that pay well are also lucrative in other industries—think management, science, and accounting. If you already have skills in a high-paying field, combining them with cannabis knowledge can create new employment opportunities, especially if you live in or are willing to relocate to a state where medical or recreational marijuana is legal. Likewise, if you have cannabis knowledge and are willing to train to become a CPA or other highly paid professional, you can blaze a new career path for yourself.

Here are five high-paying jobs in the marijuana field—a rapidly growing industry that continues to flourish.

How much money can you make growing weed?

Growing weed is lucrative, as you may already know. But just how lucrative?

How much money can you for instance make with a spare room? Remember some UK police forces have pretty much claimed they are no longer pursuing small scale cannabis growers. There are even cannabis clubs operating with the agreement of progressive thinking local police.

A program on the BBC ‘hash in the attic‘ revealed all. This is quite an old program now so you can probably add a little to the projected income figures.

You could have 3 or 4 plants in a wardrobe, generating £2-300 every 3 or 4 months.

Using a spare room you can generate £10-15k ($16-24k) ever year.

You could generate 1 kilo every ten weeks, selling a little to friends (that’s what the program said!)

If you used a whole house you could have 5 crops per year at around £15k per crop – adding up to a pretty massive £70k ($116k) per year.

Industrial operations can easily make £400k ($663k) per year. That would be generating 30-50 kilos per crop. Each crop could be worth around £120k.

Another interesting fact the program brought up was that 1900 cannabis plants can make a huge £500k ($829k) every eight weeks!

And it’s so easy to buy your own cannabis seeds! Maybe they are trying to tell us something.

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is this a joke? this is more illegal than rape.

I’m not quite sure how one thing is more illegal than another – it is either legal or it is not.

I think if you look at the harm caused to people from either one rape is a whole lot worse than growing some weed.

It’s a plant, and if you have some space I would encourage you to grow some. It can save you having to come into contact with those ‘criminal elements’ that the government force us to go to by making a plant unlawful.

So no, it’s not a joke, it’s quite useful information actually.

And obviously, growing it is one thing. Moving it all, in such large amounts is a completely different affair (though certainly not impossible).

very nice blog DP
soon to come a website for activism – incredible how slow we all got politically here in the uk. look at norml in the US… – Nu labour has betrayed the pot people

@dope smoker
true shit, I like to save my weed seeds and put them in the dirt at random places I go. I’m kind of like a modern day Jonny Appleseed, if you will.

Thanks anon, I’m ready to help fight the good fight!

I grew some hydroponicly (6 plant crops a few times in my cupboard)
the cuttings were from a top quality Big Bud mother plant and those fuckers yielded huge returns.
Kept them small and compact via pruning/cutting back and they ended up as 1 massive bud
bout 2 oz a plant 😀

Hydropnics is easy to set up and maintain.real anal growers will say you have to have the PH at exactly 7,you must clean and re-feed the water every few days and have temprature control & fans etc

Yes this is true but for a small scale operation in a cupboard then it really isnt an issue.
Afterall weed and most variants are actually weeds and will thrive as long as they have light/CO2 and nutrients (either via hydroponics or the old fashioned potted with compost type)

Illegal does not = wrong, Legal does not = Right

Never a truer word (or two) spoken.

@Dick Smallington
Is it still good bud thou?

And if they made the wardrobe legal, problem solved, everyones happy. 😀

arrrrrrrrr the romance. i think most smokers like to ponder the idea of growing, but sit and think carefully, have u a loose tong, do u like showing off, have u got warrants, have u got gas/electric checks, do u have a private landlord? the list is endless, growing in this economic climate is risky stuff, also there are plenty of random events that can bring your grow to the attention of the law. what im saying is just flirt with the idea of doing a bit of jail, cause dude u gotta be prepared to do the crime and do the time (like me)and to finish this little chapter of realism if u own your home and have alott of STUFF they can confiscate the Lot under proceeds of crime(twats leave u with nothing)in it great growing, wait theres some one banging on my door……………………………………

Haha that’s funny u can make 12.grand every 3 months from just 2md100 trays and 2 600 watt lite in a decent size bedroom.

It’s such an established illegal market now, thanks to prohibition.

If you have a big private back garden you could probably do the same with virtually no costs..

More illegal than rape….I don’t think you would be spouting that if your sister, mother, or wife was brutally raped. Nothing to joke about a-hole.

I think he means that you would get more jail time if you were caught growing than you would if you actually raped somebody. Yes our priorities and justice system are pretty screwed up when growing or selling weed is considered more serious and more deserving of jail time than raping somebody.

How much money can you make growing weed? Growing weed is lucrative, as you may already know. But just how lucrative? How much money can you for instance make with a spare room? Remember some