Cannabis Industry Salaries: A 2020 Weed Salary Guide

Are you interested in making your enthusiasm for cannabis into a full-time career?

Three large glass jars full of cannabis sativa buds Source: iStock

Are you interested in making your enthusiasm for cannabis into a full-time career? The legal cannabis industry is projected to be worth $73.6 billion by 2027, and job-seekers are ready to cash in on this blossoming economic branch. 

You may be wondering: “How much can I make in the cannabis industry?” It largely depends on location, your specialty, and your level of expertise.

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To give you a better idea of how much you can make in the cannabis industry, here’s a roundup of some average cannabis industry salaries.

Average Cannabis Industry Salaries

One report found that by 2021, the cannabis industry will either directly or indirectly create 414,000 jobs nationwide. The legal marijuana buds market alone was reportedly valued at 9.1 billion in 2019 with no signs of slowing.

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There are so many ways to work in the cannabis industry, whether in cultivation, processing, in-person sales or the many other jobs related to cannabis. Check out our list of some of the best cannabis jobs and their average income.

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Cannabis Cultivation Jobs

This sector of the industry directly oversees the growing operations of legal cannabis. These jobs involve nurturing cannabis plants throughout their growth cycle from seed to harvest. If you have a green thumb and like getting your hands dirty, check out some of these cannabis cultivation careers.

 

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Cannabis Trimmer

Average Wage: $12 – $18 per hour

Education Required: None

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One of the best entry-level positions for anyone looking to break into the cannabis cultivation scene is the role of bud trimmer. When it’s time to harvest, employees are needed to trim the flowers from the live plant, remove the excess leaves, and manicure the buds to prepare them for curing.

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Formal education is not required, just a great work ethic and a focus on cleanliness and organization. Some trimmers are paid per pound of finished product while others can make $12-$18 per hour.

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Assistant Grower

Average Annual Salary: $45,000 – $70,000

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The assistant grower is typically trained by the master grower and helps maintain facility standards and operations. Daily activities may include checking and adjusting nutrient levels, ensuring proper humidity and temperatures, and working with other cultivation staff members.

The assistant grower can make an average salary between $45,000 and $70,000. They’re often assisted by junior growers, who can make anywhere from $30,000 to $45,000 annually.

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Master Grower

Average Annual Salary: ~$100,000+

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Master growers are responsible for creating growing protocols and ensuring that they are carried out precisely. They train growers and other employees, conduct compliance checks, keep records, and generally ensure that day-to-day operations run smoothly.

Highly skilled and experienced master growers can earn over $100,000 per year and may also be offered a share of the facility’s profits.

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Cannabis Processing/Extraction Jobs

CBD and THC concentrates have made waves in the cannabis industry due to their purity and potency. Many medical patients and recreational users prefer vaping or dabbing to more traditional means of consuming dry flower.

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By 2022, the US cannabis concentrates industry is expected to be worth $8.4 billion. Extractors are more in demand than ever and their competitive salaries make this an excellent career to consider.

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Extractor Assistants

Average Annual Salary: $25,000 – $45,000

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May not require a degree. These employees help the master extractor and technicians with day-to-day production procedures and may also package and deliver products to dispensaries.

Extraction Technicians

Average Annual Salary: $45,000 – $75,000

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In this position, workers operate the machinery used to make THC distillates, CBD extract, and many other cannabis concentrates. Some positions may require a bachelor’s degree in chemistry or related fields.

Master Extractors

Average Annual Salary: $80,000 – $100,000 +

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These experienced leaders direct the operations at the extraction facility and ensure quality and compliance. This job requires a high level of education and experience to maintain safe facilities and products.

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Edibles Chef

Average Annual Salary: $40,000 – $90,000

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If you’re thinking about taking your culinary skills to a higher level, cannabis kitchens are hiring. Edibles are on the rise as a delicious and discreet alternative to smoking marijuana. Edibles chefs oversee the precise measurement and preparation of cannabis products like gummies, brownies, and many more. 

Culinary cannabis has made a name for itself with hit shows like Bong Appétit and Cooking on High, and now is a great time to break into the edible cannabis market.

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Monster reports that edibles chefs can make an average annual salary of $40,000 to $90,000.


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Cannabis Dispensary Jobs

Once cannabis has been cultivated, cured, and sometimes processed, the next step is to get the product to the people. Dispensaries need skilled, professional employees to help ensure that their customers have access to high-quality cannabis products that will meet their needs.

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Budtender/Cannabis Consultant

Average Annual Salary: $31,200 – $42,000

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Average Wage: $11 – 13 per hour

Are you passionate about helping others thrive with the help of cannabis? Budtenders work face to face with dispensary patrons and make recommendations based on their needs.

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These front-line workers require a combination of compassion and a willingness to learn. How much does a budtender make? According to Monster.com, hourly wages for beginners can start at $11-13/hr plus tips, while salaried employees can make $31,200 to $42,000 per year. 

Dispensary Managers

Average Annual Salary: $30,000 – $150,000

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Like the managers at many other retail facilities, dispensary managers generally deal with sourcing products from vendors, managing employees, hiring and training, customer satisfaction, and shop operations.

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In addition to these traditional duties, dispensary managers must also ensure legal compliance and work with local enforcement. Assistant managers can make $30,000 to $40,000 per year while general managers can make anywhere from $60,000 to over $150,000.

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Other Cannabis Jobs

Not every job within the realm of the cannabis industry involves creating and selling cannabis products. With the rise of legal medical and recreational weed, cannabis consulting has grown as well.

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Lawyers, accountants, and other business experts are often hired by suppliers and retailers to make sure they are following sound and legal practices and to help scale their businesses. These legal and tax consultants can earn as much as six figures working in the cannabis industry.

How to find cannabis industry jobs

There are so many other jobs within the cannabis industry that we couldn’t possibly mention them all here, but we hope that our guide has given you some insight into the many career pathways that exist within the emerging cannabis industry.

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If you’re interested in taking a step into making a living with cannabis (legally) check out Wikileaf’s new job search tool, where we help connect you with available jobs in the cannabis industry.

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Cannabis Industry Salaries: A 2020 Weed Salary Guide was last modified: by