11 Great Jobs in the Cannabis Industry

January 3, 2024

Jobs in the cannabis industry

As the cannabis industry continues to grow and evolve, the career opportunities available to our students following graduation continue to expand as well. Pennsylvania Institute of Technology’s cannabis studies programs set students up for success in securing careers and jobs in the cannabis industry in a variety of roles.

Legal recreational and adult-use cannabis is currently one of the greatest job-creation industries in the country. The Leafly Jobs Report found more than 428,000 full-time roles were supported by legal cannabis as of January 2022, with more sure to come.

Cannabis Industry Jobs for Cannabis Horticulture Degree Students

Our cannabis horticulture degree program aims to prepare students to start their own businesses, and even manage cannabis growing and extraction operations. In this program, students will focus on the botany, growing, harvesting, extraction, and formulation aspects of a cannabis agribusiness so they can become familiar with all levels of a grow operation.

Some postgraduate jobs in the cannabis industry with a P.I.T. cannabis horticulture degree include:

  • Cultivator – Cannabis cultivators, or growers, are experts at managing the planting, growing, and harvesting of cannabis plants, and those in this role are crucial in helping supply the initial product. The average annual salary for a cultivator is around $50,000 with ample room for career and salary growth.
  • Strain development specialist – This role involves cultivating different cannabis strains with specific characteristics. Strain development focuses on traits like potency, flavor, and growth patterns. Each strain has a unique genetic makeup influencing its effects and appearance. Breeders aim to create diverse options, catering to various preferences and medicinal needs. Descriptions often highlight key features such as THC/CBD content, terpene profile and flowering time, aiding consumers and choosing strains aligned with their desired outcomes.
  • Cannabis extraction technician – A person in this role is charged with safely separating cannabis chemical compounds called cannabinoid-rich trichomes from cannabis flowers. An annual salary for a cannabis extraction technician is around $40,000 to $50,000.
  • Cannabis formulation specialist – A cannabis formulation specialist is responsible for the preparation of formulation development protocols, reports, and other documents related to formulation activities. This role requires expertise in the development of pharmaceutical and supplement-based products in addition to strong internal and external collaboration skills. A cannabis formulation specialist makes an average of $50,000 to $70,000 annually.
  • Edibles manufacturing specialist – An individual in this position creates cannabis-infused edible products. Edibles manufacturing specialists also assist edibles managers to prep all edibles under good manufacturing practices to meet compliance standards. The average annual salary for this role is between $33,000 and $140,000.
  • Inventory manager – A cannabis inventory manager oversees cannabis inventory, while also enforcing policies and supporting dispensary operation work. People in this role also help to determine how much product stock is necessary based on purchasing trends. The average salary for inventory managers is around $60,000 or more per year.
  • Compliance officer – A cannabis compliance officer ensures dispensary SOPs are in place and that employees follow regulations daily. The person in this role is responsible for preventing the dispensary from incurring fines as well as keeping the team up to date on the latest state and federal regulations required of the cannabis industry. The average annual salary is around $60,000 or more.

Cannabis Industry Jobs for Cannabis Health Therapy Students

P.I.T. students in the cannabis health therapy program learn the healing side of the cannabis industry. The curriculum is aimed at teaching students the science of recommending cannabis to patients for medical cannabis use. Additionally, students will learn how to relieve patient aliments with the natural power of cannabis.

Medical marijuana is often used to treat Alzheimer’s disease, ALS, HIV/AIDS, Crohn’s disease, epilepsy and seizures, glaucoma, MLS/muscle spasms, severe and chronic pain, severe nausea or vomiting caused by cancer treatments, and more.

Select jobs in the cannabis industry for cannabis health therapy program graduates include:

  • Budtender/wellness advisor – In this customer-facing role, individuals interact with patients to educate them about the different cannabis varieties and uses, while working toward sales. People in this role need to have knowledge of compliance guidelines, products, essential technologies, and operating procedures. The average salary of a budtender is between $33,000 and $41,000 yearly.
  • Cannabis clinician – This role entails facilitating consumer access to cannabis products and educating patients on the benefits of using cannabis for certain ailments versus traditional methods of treatment. The average annual salary in this role varies, but can range from $60,000 to $100,000.

Jobs in the Cannabis Industry for Cannabis Business Degree Students

Students in the cannabis business degree program acquire specialized business skills for the medical cannabis industry that help make their resumes stand out from the competition. Students are exposed to all levels of vertically integrated business models through an examination of the science, botany, marketing, and accounting aspects of a cannabis business.

Some jobs in the cannabis industry for cannabis business degree graduates include:

  • Cannabis dispensary owner • – This is typically an entrepreneur with a deep understanding of the Cannabis industry. They navigate regulatory requirements, manage inventory, and ensure compliance with local laws. Successful owners often possess a combination of business acumen, knowledge of cannabis products, and a commitment to customer education. They may also create a welcoming environment, fostering a sense of community while prioritizing safety and responsible consumption. Overall, a cannabis dispensary owner plays a crucial role in shaping the customer experience and contributing to the evolving landscape of the cannabis market. The average cannabis dispensary owner earns between $250,000 and $500,000 yearly
  • Cannabis retail manager – This job also goes under the name of dispensary manager, and those in this role handle the day-to-day operations of running a dispensary. Most cannabis retail manager roles require special certification and training before someone can manage a store, as well as prior experience as a lead budtender. The average salary in this role is between $39,000 and $90,000 annually.

Benefits of Pursuing Your Cannabis Education at P.I.T.

Pursuing a cannabis degree will help you to develop the skills required for a thriving career in the cannabis industry, and P.I.T. cannabis courses will provide the knowledge you need to understand everything from applying for a license to the biology of the plant to the therapeutic benefits it can provide.

Plus, choosing one the cannabis degree programs offered at P.I.T. opens doors postgraduation for jobs in public health, advocacy and policy work, entrepreneurship, and research and innovation.

Some additional advantages to obtaining your cannabis degree at P.I.T. include:

  • A 15-1 student-to-faculty ratio
  • Free tutoring for all students
  • Financial aid opportunities
  • Flexible instruction via in-person or online courses
  • Transfer assistance, career help, and counseling
  • Instruction by professors experienced in the cannabis industry

Apply Today to Kickstart Your Career in the Cannabis Industry

Start pursuing your cannabis degree at our distinguished program today. Apply now or contact us for questions and information.