Booming Careers in the Legal Marijuana Industry

The booming legal marijuana industry is creating thousands of jobs. If you are looking for a career change, there is no industry that is growing as rapidly.

Of course, with cannabis it’s a little more complicated because it is not legal everywhere. In fact, if you are living south of the Mason Dixon Line and east of the Rocky Mountains, you might find yourself unaware of the recent explosion of grow in the marijuana industry.

So before looking at careers, here’s a quick look at where marijuana is now legal for medicinal or recreational purposes, or both.

Legal Marijuana Industry: States Where Weed is Legal

Over the past few years, marijuana has become legal in a number of states. Some have approved it only for medicinal use, while four have made it legal to also partake for recreation.  The difference is that with medicinal marijuana, a prescription or note is needed from a doctor.

Legal for Medicinal and Recreational Use

Only four states have taken the step to legalize marijuana for recreational purposes as well as medicinal purposes.

  • Alaska
  • Colorado
  • Oregon
  • Washington

Voters in Washington D.C. have also made it legal, however they face hurdles in implementing this decision because of federal rules blocking the district’s legislative autonomy.

Legal for Medicinal Use Only

As noted above, in these states one can legally purchase and partake of marijuana if you have a doctor’s prescription or note.

They are:  Arizona, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Vermont.

Careers in the Cannabis Industry

There are many jobs opening up within the legal marijuana industry, which is expected to become a $40 billion industry by 2020.  Here are a few to consider that require varying skills and education levels.

Edible creator. When people think of partaking of marijuana, they typically think of smoking. However, there are many different food items – a number that grows every month – which creative cooks are inventing that involve use of the cannabis plant. Cannabis businesses are looking for people who can create new concoctions, from cookies and cakes to coffee and tea.

Budtender. This is exactly like what it sounds like. Much like a bartender helps people in a bar pick the right drink for the occasion, a budtender helps people in a dispensary choose the right strain of cannabis for the experience they want.

Farmer. This is an extremely important – but very difficult – part of the industry. Cannabis farmers face the same economic realities of other farmers as well as the problems with insects and weather, which can destroy a crop.

Medical marijuana caregiver. In some areas, it is now legal to grow and possess marijuana if you are a caregiver to someone who is benefiting from the use of marijuana (often to deal with pain caused by medical conditions or disease).

Lobbyist. The cannabis industry is legal in the places mentioned above, but that means there is still much of the United States where it is not legal. Federal law also continues to make marijuana illegal. Lobbyists work at the local, state and federal level to expand the legalization of cannabis as well as seeking fair regulation of the cannabis industry.

Accountant. Like any booming business, the cannabis industry needs people who are good at managing numbers and money.

Security. In Colorado alone, there are already 500 dispensaries. It’s important to have security in place to check for identification, insure those making purchases are of legal age and also just generally maintain order.

These are just some of the jobs available in the cannabis industry. If you are considering a career change and are willing to move to a western location, then it is definitely an industry you want to consider.