The cannabis industry is exploding right now. Cannabis is the fastest growing industry in the country, entering 2022 with over 428,059 full-time positions nationwide. As more new states legalize recreational cannabis use this year, the 32% job growth in the industry in 2020 is predicted to expand to support 500,000 jobs by 2024. This rapid growth has attracted people from a huge variety of different industries looking to begin an exciting and lucrative career in the world of cannabis.
Anyone looking into the cannabis industry for the first time may be familiar with many of the entry-level and plant-touching jobs currently available, such as budtender, trimmer, cultivation assistant, warehouse manager, or master grower. What many candidates do not realize is that there is a whole host of cannabis-related jobs that match up to a wide range of skill sets from other industries. Today, we will look at some lesser-known jobs and emerging opportunities in the cannabis industry that you may not be aware of yet. Some of these careers offer the possibility of taking your skillset from another industry into cannabis, while some highlight new and exciting paths that are only recently being created and explored.
Podcasts have been one of the fastest-growing forms of entertainment and education in the past few years. Online audio broadcasts now exist in nearly every industry, subculture, and entertainment field you can imagine and have become extremely popular as educational tools, news sources, and marketing strategies. As of 2021, there are over two million podcasts, nearly fifty million podcast episodes available (Podcast Insights, 2021), and over two thousand cannabis-related podcasts on Spotify alone.
Cannabis podcast hosts offer knowledge, opinions, and inspiration on a wide range of topics affecting the cannabis industry, including cultivation, sales, scaling, entrepreneurship, and marketing. Many cannabis brands have started their own brand-centric podcasts to connect with customers in a long-form structure that other marketing strategies cannot match, while other independent podcasts have been created by industry insiders, compelling storytellers, comedians, and cannabis superfans. If you think you have something to say in the podcast medium, starting a cannabis podcast or seeking employment at a cannabis company looking to start a podcast may be the career for you.
Give a listen to Cannabiz’s own podcast aimed at teaching entrepreneurs and leaders how to be successful in the cannabis industry, or check out some of these popular cannabis-related podcasts for inspiration
Cannabis Economy – Seth Adler provides insight on the up-to-date history of legalized cannabis with a variety of guests in the cannabis business.
The Ganjapreneur – This podcast is for people looking to get into the cannabis industry and addresses the opportunities and obstacles surrounding the industry.
Getting Doug with High – In this humorous broadcast, comedian Doug Benson interviews various guests, from industry insiders to cannabis icons like Tommy Chong.
State of Cannabis – Produced by the Cannabis Radio Network, this is a well-researched podcast that delves into many different topics surrounding cannabis culture.
The field of cannabis culinary arts is rapidly expanding, with sales of edible products expected to top $8.24 billion by 2025. Those with experience as chefs, bakers, pastry chefs, and chocolate makers can find lucrative careers combining a love for food and a passion for cannabis. Infused edible companies are looking for talented chefs to produce their products and to innovate new edible goodies, private chefs with an interest in cannabis have started side businesses hosting private cannabis dinner parties, and entrepreneurial chefs have held beginning and advanced cannabis cooking classes.
Regardless of the exact path you choose, becoming a cannabis edibles chef, just like becoming any kind of chef, requires traditional cooking experience. Culinary diplomas or certificates are a plus, but the most important experience is gained from working in a real restaurant kitchen, as this will provide you with knowledge of the inner workings of restaurant kitchen standards and how to work under a professional chef. The first priority is to develop your love of cooking as a member of a kitchen staff, and the cannabis part can come later.
If you already have experience as a cook or a chef, you can look for a job at an established infused edible company, a cannabis company that makes their own edible products, or create a business with your own line of edible treats. The majority of infused edibles sold at stores are sweets, so experience as a pastry chef (patissier), chocolate maker (chocolatier), or candy maker is a preferred skill set. However, the market for savory cannabis infusions is growing and can also be a potential career option, though, at the moment, the market is fairly niche. There is also a burgeoning infused-beverage market creating seltzers, tonics, and other flavored drinks containing cannabis and CBD. No matter what you like to make, if you have a passion for cooking and some experience, consider looking for a job making infused food and drink in the cannabis industry.
Cannabis Product Tester
Like any other product on the market, cannabis products must be tested to ensure their quality and effectiveness. This means people get paid to use cannabis products. Often, this means joining the database of a product research company that works for cannabis businesses that want their products tested by real consumers. Once enrolled, the product research company will contact you to participate in studies and surveys for different cannabis products, paying you for each study in which you participate. Tests can be in the form of focus groups, individual surveys, or moderator-led discussions about a product, service, or idea. Some companies have test sites where surveys are conducted, while some will send you cannabis products to try at home and then write about your experience.
Primarily a part-time, temporary, or gig economy position, cannabis product testers can earn money writing about their experiences with various cannabis products. In order to participate, you must be in a state where cannabis is legal, be over 21 years old, possess a decent knowledge base about cannabis products in general, and be able to describe your experiences in writing.
There are also cannabis tester/reviewer positions available at some cannabis-related publications, similar to a movie reviewer or tech product tester at a standard magazine or newspaper. For these positions, a strong background in writing or journalism must accompany a passion for using a variety of cannabis products.
Cannabis Dispensary/Cultivation Architect
As cannabis grows and evolves in the retail market, there is a strong interest in designing dispensaries that stand apart from the others in a retail setting. This means a focus on utilizing the retail space as a way to build a brand and connect with customers. The visual experience and customer service provided by a dispensary are crucial to how a brand positions itself in the market, and cannabis businesses are turning to architects and designers to help them create environments that are welcoming, intuitive, and stylish.
When it comes to cultivation facilities, an architect can help a grow operation create an ergonomic and efficient design that will best benefit the cultivation of cannabis in the space. Because there is no one-size-fits-all cannabis cultivation facility, architects are crucial in helping integrate a building’s unique structure into the design of the operation within it. Understanding critical elements such as lighting, temperature, and humidity and how they interact with the building structure itself can inform how an architect works with the space to create an efficient facility.
Whether involved in designing a retail dispensary space or integrating a cultivation operation into a unique structure, architects are in high demand in the cannabis industry. If you have an architectural or design degree or experience in the architectural or design world, the cannabis industry has exciting opportunities to apply your skill set and build a lucrative career.
If you have an eye for photography and a passion for cannabis, cannabis photography may be the career for you. One of the best things about this job is that while experience and a degree are helpful, they are not necessary. If you have a unique vision and a camera, you can showcase your photography skills on the internet and social media and use those platforms as a digital resume to seek employment at a cannabis business. Create an Instagram or website to show off your unique cannabis photographs, then DM, tag, or email local cannabis businesses to see if they are hiring and encourage them to check out your online portfolio. It is important to remember that the history of cannabis is tight-knit, diverse, and full of passionate people from all walks of life. Being able to capture a specific aesthetic that conveys warmth, openness, and honesty will go far toward catching the eye of a potential employer.
The cannabis industry is providing so many exciting opportunities for people from all kinds of backgrounds. If you are interested in working in a cannabis-related field and have experience in nearly any type of business, there is probably a job in cannabis that requires a similar skill set. Now that you know about some of the lesser-known jobs available in the world of cannabis, get out there and find a career that inspires and excites you.