Getting a Government Marijuana Job

It’s no secret that jobs are plentiful in marijuana. From budtenders to growers, the large-and-expanding cannabis industry is creating a wealth of opportunity wherever voters have made it legal. But there’s one area many may not have considered: Working for The Man. That’s right, a government marijuana job.

Government Marijuana Job Opportunities

Of course, it’s not really The Man anymore, like marijuana fans would have said in the 1960s. Government is now on the side of regulating the marijuana industry, not so much policing it, at least in the 29 states where cannabis is legal for either medicinal or recreational purposes.

So what kind of government marijuana job can you get in relation to the cannabis industry? Turns out there are many opportunities, many of them for professionals. In California alone the state’s Bureau of Cannabis Control expects to expand from 11 to 100 employees before recreational marijuana sales begin in 2018.

Here are a few examples of potential government marijuana jobs.

Environmental Scientists

Have a degree in science and want a new challenge? States such as California are hiring scientists to do research into cannabis grow facilities and develop recommendations on how they can operate without harming the environment. They also will make recommendations on regulations governing where they can be located, such as a certain distance from a body of water or environmentally protected areas.

Inspectors and Engineers

Each state has a department that is overseeing the marijuana industry, ensuring that all involved are working within state regulations. This includes growers, transporters, producers of various marijuana-related products and the retail dispensaries that sell them. Most states have positions for inspectors to check into these issues with marijuana businesses on a regular basis. Many working in this area may be engineers with expertise in how the operation is supposed to work safely.

Law Enforcement

OK, so maybe this is like working for The Man. However, local law enforcement agencies are not out to arrest people for possession. They are looking to find those who are illegally growing marijuana in states where it is legal. This is a frequent issue in places such as Colorado where recreational marijuana has been legal since 2014. The idea is to catch and punish those who continue to deal in illegal marijuana, therefore protecting the market for the businesses that follow the law and go through the proper procedures to create a regulated cannabis business.


Not a surprise. Environmental issues alone could keep a team of lawyers busy. Or there are issues such as those in Nevada, where attorneys continue to argue over who has the right to distribute legalized cannabis. Local jurisdictions in most states have the right to create marijuana laws of their own (in most cases, deciding to ban growing it or selling it). All of this had led to another area of the law for an attorney to specialize in.

Analysts and Collectors

Perhaps you have noticed that almost every state offers projections on sales in the marijuana business, as well as anticipated tax revenue for the state. Analysts work to develop these reports, upon which a lot of policy decisions are made. These analysts typically work in a department of revenue or taxation. Tax collectors are also a part of this process, ensuring that marijuana businesses are properly paying taxes on marijuana sales.

Administrative Staff

It goes without saying that all of the above will require a lot of paperwork, documentation maintenance and files with up-to-date information on every business. Administrative staff, particularly those who can work with software systems that track all of the above issues, will also be needed in states where marijuana is legal and regulated by the government.

That’s just a taste of the potential jobs. Certainly, for those interested in getting into the marijuana industry, there are many opportunities outside the private industry. Check the state or local government listings in your area.

It could be the perfect government marijuana job – something people a generation ago would never have dreamed would happen.

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