5 Hot New Careers in the Blooming Cannabis Industry

The legalization of recreational marijuana in 9 states (and counting) plus Washington, DC has led to new niches and openings on the nation’s job market. CNBC recently laid out 5 of these “hot new careers.” The list discusses what professionals can expect in terms of average salary, as well as the advantages and drawbacks for each line of work.

First, some interesting statistics from the financial news site.

• By 2020 the $8.5 billion U.S. marijuana industry is expected to create 250,000 new jobs, according to New Frontier Data.

• In 2017 the number of job posts for openings in the marijuana industry increased by 445 percent, outpacing tech (254 percent) and health care (70 percent), according to ZipRecruiter.

• Fast-growing new careers driven by marijuana legalization include director of cultivation, budtender, dispensary manager, director of extraction and trimmer.

CNBC’s 5 hot new cannabis jobs range in pay from $12.25 per hour to more than a quarter of a million dollars per year. They include the following:

Director of Cultivation

This is a science-heavy profession, requiring knowledge of agriculture and horticulture. As the title suggests, cultivation directors typically oversee marijuana growing operations and can expect to earn anywhere from $88,000 to $250,500 per year.


A good budtender knows enough about his/her products to recommend the perfect strain for each customer. They should understand medicinal benefits too. Salaries range from $13.50 to $16 per hour.

Dispensary Manager

Running a marijuana dispensary is no simple task. There are all sorts of legal, security and cash concerns to contend with. But it pays well — anywhere from $56,000 to $98,000 annually.


While generally low paying ($12.25 to $14 per hour), the job of the pot trimmer is one of the more fascinating. It has raised all kinds of social and economic issues in recent years. For more on that, check out this enlightening article on trimmers published last month in the New York Times.