How to Get a Job in the Cannabis Industry

professional checking on cannabis

As cannabis legalization spreads, jobs in the industry are booming. Cultivators, manufacturers, retailers, administrators, marketers, researchers and more are needed. Whether you want to work hands-on with cannabis plants or leverage your existing professional skills, there are diverse opportunities. Follow this guide to enter the exciting and rapidly growing cannabis job market.

Obtain Relevant Education and Training

While some entry-level cannabis jobs may not require formal credentials, education and training will make you much more competitive.

Horticulture or agriculture degrees provide useful knowledge for cultivators, growers, trimmers, budtenders and agricultural roles. Coursework covers botany, plant genetics, pest management, cultivation methods and more. Hands-on experience with live plants is invaluable.

Science degrees like chemistry, biochemistry, biology and engineering teach key skills for cannabis manufacturing, extraction, testing lab work and research positions. Learn how to analyze cannabis compounds and extracts.

Business, marketing, finance, accounting, healthcare administration and management degrees prepare students for administrative, corporate and entrepreneurial cannabis industry careers. 

Gain knowledge on regulations, human resources, marketing, finance, sales and operations.

Specialized cannabis certificates demonstrate deep cannabis knowledge. There are now accredited certificate programs in cannabis cultivation, processing, dispensary operations, laws, patient treatment and more.

Get Direct Cannabis Industry Experience

In addition to conventional education, hands-on cannabis experience is extremely valuable when starting your career. Try to get it through:

Internships at cannabis companies, offered to both students and career changers. Check company websites and cannabis job boards.

Volunteering with nonprofits and advocacy groups furthering cannabis legalization, medical access, criminal justice reform and other issues.

Work at related businesses like plant nurseries, retail stores, healthcare providers, pharmacies and supplement shops to build transferable skills.

Entry-level cannabis jobs such as trimmer roles, which allow you to learn from the ground up as you advance in the industry.

Focus on a Specific Cannabis Career Path

With training and experience, aim to specialize in one of these key cannabis sectors: Cultivation involves growing, nurturing, harvesting, curing and packaging cannabis. 

Cultivators start as trimmers and advance to growers, managers and masters. Agricultural skills are critical.

Manufacturing means producing cannabis extracts and oils, infused edibles, vapes, topicals and other products. Chemists and engineers excel in these analytical, product-development roles.

Dispensaries need knowledgeable budtenders, patient care specialists, inventory managers and retail operations staff. Strong customer service skills are a must.

Business functions like marketing, finance, human resources, compliance and management are increasingly needed to scale cannabis companies. Prior corporate experience is desired.

Government policy and legal jobs range from lobbyists to policy analysts shaping cannabis laws and regulations at municipal, state and federal levels. A law background is preferred.

Scientific research spans cannabis’s medical benefits, product testing, plant genetics and more. Research roles require advanced bioscience degrees and lab skills.

Use the Best Resources to Search for Jobs

Now it’s time to start your search. The top places to look include:

Online cannabis job boards such as Vangst, Cannabiz Team and Leafly jobs, which post tons of cannabis specific openings across the country.

Company websites, which commonly have cannabis career and job listings. Target businesses you’re interested in directly.

Main job sites like Indeed, Monster and LinkedIn have filters to search for cannabis roles only.

Staffing agencies and headhunters that recruit skilled talent for cannabis businesses. Try FlowerHire, Viridian Staffing, Lifted Talent and others.

Industry conferences and expos, which host job fairs, networking events and recruiting. Check out top conferences such as those run by XpoCanna.

Prepare for Interviews and Get Hired

To stand out during interviews and get the job offer you desire:

Highlight transferable skills from past roles in retail, healthcare, science or other fields. Draw clear connections to the cannabis job’s requirements.

Demonstrate passion for joining the emerging legal cannabis industry. Research the company’s mission and values. Ask thoughtful questions that show your engagement.

Study relevant cannabis topics like news, products, patient benefits, legal issues and industry trends. Show you’ve done your cannabis homework.

Practice interviewing and polish your cannabis industry knowledge. With preparation, you’ll ace the interview process.

job interview


What education is required for cannabis industry jobs?

While degrees are not always required, they help. Horticulture, sciences, business/marketing, healthcare and management degrees provide useful cannabis industry skills.

How can I get experience without already working in cannabis?

Look for transferable experience at plant nurseries, retail stores, healthcare providers, advocacy groups and related companies. Cannabis internships and entry level jobs can get your foot in the door.

Which cannabis jobs are most in demand right now?

Cultivators, extractors, budtenders, managers, marketing, policy, scientific research and patient care roles are all urgently hiring qualified talent as the industry scales.

What resources should I use to find job openings?

Cannabis job boards, company sites, mainstream job sites with cannabis filters, staffing agencies, industry conferences and networking connections are the best resources.

Ready to find your dream cannabis job? Visit to explore upcoming recruiting and networking events!