10 High-Paying Cannabis Jobs in the Industry

by Jun 9, 2021Cannabis Industry

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Cannabis has come a long way from the days where homemade edibles had to be made with blinds drawn. Today, with adult-use and/or medical cannabis legal in over half the states, you can proudly put Edibles Chef on your resume! Not to mention, the cannabis industry is making tons of revenue. In 2020, California alone raked in over $3 billion in legal cannabis sales according to reports by Leafly. With plenty of revenue, and lots of momentum, many are trying to transition to the cannabis industry to lock down high-paying cannabis jobs.  

If you’re passionate about cannabis, working in the space is definitely a dream come true. However, it would be ideal to work your way up to one of the high-paying cannabis jobs in the industry. So, we decided to create a list of several cannabis jobs with the best salaries. To create this list, we looked at the following verticals: cultivation, extraction, testing, manufacturing, distribution, retail, sales and marketing, accounting, and administration. We chose one of the high-paying cannabis jobs from each section to present a variety of options. Take a look at the list and set your sights on a vertical you want to climb!  

chief scientific officer_high-paying cannabis jobs

Chief Scientific Officer 

Working as the chief scientific officer for a cannabis facility, you will be responsible for management and development of technological operations and research. Without a doubt, it is one of the most important cannabis jobs in the industry. As a chief scientific officer, you will determine the validity of research results, ensuring that they are communicated to the team effectively. Additionally, you will leverage your expertise to be the corporate technical advisor and oversee lab operations. Also, you will provide guidance and strategic direction for the cannabis lab team. 

Typical qualifications include the following: 

  • Ph.D. is highly preferred at many cannabis companies 
  • 5-10 years of management experience at a certified laboratory 
  • Proven ability to teach and grow lab staff  
  • Minimum of a master’s degree in chemical, biological, or environmental sciences  

Salary: $165,000+ 

chief revenue officer_high-paying cannabis jobs

Chief Revenue Officer  

The person appointed to be the chief revenue officer (CRO) for a cannabis company is in charge of all revenue streams. They are responsible for driving revenue growth by leveraging and leading all of the revenue-generating departments, including sales and marketing. Typically, for a cannabis startup, the CEO will take responsibility for revenue generation. However, as a company grows, a chief revenue officer is needed to create efficient strategies essential for steady and consistent growth. Providing thought leadership to ramp up revenue growth is also common for a CRO. If you’re skilled at driving revenue, this is one of the cannabis executive jobs you should keep your eye on.  

Typical qualifications include the following: 

  • Bachelor’s degree or MBA 
  • 5-10 years of experience building high-performance teams  
  • Experience in strategic business planning 
  • Strong creative, strategic, analytical, organizational, and personal negotiation skills

Salary: $152,000+ 

e-commerce manager_high-paying cannabis jobs

E-Commerce Manager 

Since online sales in the industry are as important as ever, the role of e-commerce manager is one of the most essential cannabis jobs in the space. The e-commerce manager is responsible for a cannabis organization’s online sales presence. Some of the most common tasks they have are promotional planning, creation of advertising campaigns, market research, and development of pricing strategies. Additionally, they may oversee design and development of the cannabis website, develop SEO and marketing strategies, and be responsible for website security.  

Typical qualifications include the following: 

  • Bachelor’s degree in marketing, business, or related field 
  • Proven track record of creating sales-enhancing strategies 
  • Extensive knowledge of cannabis products 
  • Previous e-commerce management experience preferred  

Salary: $114,500+ 

director of finance_high-paying cannabis jobs

Director of Finance 

The director of finance role is one of the high-paying cannabis executive jobs in the industry for good reason. This position calls for a highly analytical professional to oversee financial operations for the cannabis organization. They are responsible for developing budgets for the cannabis company’s divisions and establishing targets. Additionally, they are also responsible for ensuring compliance with financial laws. Ultimately, the director of finance’s primary task is to guide the cannabis company to profitability and success.   

Typical qualifications include the following: 

  • Bachelor’s degree in financing, accounting, or relevant field 
  • 5+ years of experience in financial management 
  • Deep knowledge of financial analysis and accounting software 
  • Stellar leadership skills  

Salary: $112,500+ 

director of distribution_high-paying cannabis jobs

Director of Distribution 

Reporting to the EVP of operations, the director of distribution will assure an efficient and well-tuned supply chain. They will make certain that the distribution team has all the equipment, supplies, and product needed to function at the highest level so warehouse products get to their destinations promptly. Furthermore, the director of distribution will manage contractors, vendors, and suppliers. Also, they will be responsible for securing essential warehouse facilities, analyzing for low-cost options, and collating purchase orders and requisitions. And, they may oversee inventory security. 

Typical qualifications include the following: 

  • Bachelor’s degree or master’s of science in supply chain management 
  • Warehouse management experience 
  • Experience with safety and Occupational Safety and Health Administration regulations  
  • Strong problem-solving skills  

Salary: $93,500+ 

director of cultivation_high-paying cannabis jobs

Director of Cultivation 

The director of cultivation oversees all facilities, ensuring each is safe and compliant. They will also oversee all new cannabis cultivation research and development and are responsible for the supervision of all operations, including quality control, production, and maintenance. Also, they are responsible for recruiting, hiring, and training the cultivation team. Responsibilities may also include leading the team to build out a cultivation operation. Without a doubt, this is one of the most demanding and high-paying cannabis jobs in the industry. There are plenty of opportunities for cannabis cultivation experts in the space, but even more talent trying to grab a spot. 

Typical qualifications include the following: 

  • Master’s degree in agriculture 
  • Horticulture and greenhouse experience (5-10 years) 
  • Nutrient management expertise 
  • Certified pesticide applicator  

Salary: $93,000+ 

dispensary manager_high-paying cannabis jobs

Dispensary Manager 

It is the cannabis dispensary manager’s responsibility to guide and develop their staff. They will lead the store, analyze financial performance, and strategize the best ways to achieve and sustain customer satisfaction. Additionally, the dispensary manager will oversee day-to-day operations, monitor inventory, and handle financial responsibility for P&L. Not to mention, they are responsible for the dispensary’s appearance, cleanliness, functionality, and safety. If you want to be the go-to person at a dispensary, this is one of the high-paying cannabis jobs that will likely be fulfilling for you. 

Typical qualifications include the following: 

  • Bachelor’s degree in management, business, or related field is preferred 
  • Experience in retail management 
  • Previous experience at a dispensary 
  • Familiarity with a variety of cannabis products  

Salary: $76,500+ 

compliance manager_high-paying cannabis jobs

Compliance Manager 

Compliance is huge in the cannabis industry. One tiny mistake could incur a compliance violation, leading to massive fines. Therefore, it’s no surprise that compliance manager is one of the high-paying cannabis jobs in the industry. Some of the main tasks of a compliance manager are developing compliance protocols, keeping up with regulation changes, resolving compliance issues, and communicating effectively with compliance regulators. Also, the cannabis compliance manager will be responsible for conducting audits of the facility. Overall, it is the compliance manager’s task of keeping the cannabis business from falling into any zones of violation.   

Typical qualifications include the following: 

  • Bachelor’s degree in law, business administration, or related field 
  • 3+ years of experience as a compliance manager or officer 
  • Strong knowledge of cannabis industry laws and regulations 
  • Exemplary communication and interpersonal skills  

Salary: $73,200+ 

production manager_high-paying cannabis jobs

Production Manager 

The production manager for a cannabis company is responsible for overseeing day-to-day operations. In the position, they will coordinate and manage manufacturing processes, ensuring products are delivered promptly and do not exceed the budget. Additionally, the production manager for a cannabis organization will monitor the production of cannabis goods. It is their responsibility to make sure cannabis products are produced safely and meet quality standards. Also, the production manager will oversee a team of production technicians who are tasked to produce a variety of products, including pre-rolls, cartridges, vapes, cannabis drinks, and more. As one of the high-paying cannabis jobs in the space, this role comes with plenty of responsibility to uphold regulatory compliance.   

Typical qualifications include the following: 

  • Bachelor’s degree in business management or related field 
  • 2+ years of management experience in a manufacturing environment  
  • Proven leadership skills 
  • Excellent organizational and time management skills 

Salary: $72,000+ 

extraction lab manager_high-paying cannabis jobs

Extraction Lab Manager 

The extraction lab manager is responsible for a cannabis facility’s day-to-day production, ensuring that procedures are following all established protocols. They are expected to have stellar experimental design, data analysis, and problem-solving skills. An extraction lab manager may also be required to have experience using decarboxylation, filtration, extraction, distillation, and ethanol recovery equipment. Additionally, they will create and update Standard Operating Procedures and identify any opportunities to improve extraction operations. If this is one of the high-paying cannabis jobs you’re looking at, you should also be comfortable assisting with product recalls or complaint investigations as needed.  

Typical qualifications include the following: 

  • Bachelor’s degree in chemistry  
  • Experience with hydrocarbon and other extraction methods 
  • Experience as a project team manager/leader  
  • At least 3 years of laboratory experience  

Salary: $67,000+ 

If you’re looking for more high-paying cannabis jobs, industry information, or hiring trends, download our 2021 cannabis industry salary guide.

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