How Much can You Make as a Legal Marijuana Professional?

Legal Marijuana

With the United States and many other countries in Europe and the Americas passing laws regulating the cannabis industry, a wide range of career paths have opened for savvy entrepreneurs wanting to get an early start on one of the world’s fastest growing industries.

While entry-level positions might not be hard to get, cannabis experts require specific training depending on their role and specialty. Institutes such as the Learn Sativa University specialize on providing education for anyone looking to land a job in the legal marijuana industry or manage their own cannabis business.

If you are also looking for an opportunity in this industry, the following list will give you an understanding of how much each cannabis professional can make per year according to a report by the Sacramento Bee.

The Entry Roles: Marijuana Trimmers, Harvesters, Packagers and Cultivators.

While these positions might not be suitable for everyone, they are a great way to get yourself in the business and gain useful experience in the field. Not only will you understand the inner workings of the cannabis industry, but you will have opportunities to climb the ladder and quickly move into more specialized positions.

Working as a marijuana trimmer, packager, cultivator or harvester, you can expect to make somewhere between $17,000 and $40,000 per year.

Dispensaries and Deliveries: Direct Contact with the Customers.

Dispensaries are an important part of the legal cannabis industry in the United States. These establishments allow customers to meet experts in the field who provide recommendations on the strains and consumption methods which best adapt to their specific requirements. The best budtenders are those who have excellent listening skills and a comprehensive background and understanding of the different strains available in the market.

On the other hand, many cannabis companies in the United States deliver their products directly to their customers. For this reason, couriers are key players in the industry, as they are the ones having direct contact with customers and often develop business relationships providing periodical orders. Learn Sativa University offers courses on cannabis business management for both delivery companies and physical dispensaries.

As a cannabis courier, budtender or dispensary receptionist, your yearly salary will range between $20,000 and $40,000. On the plus side, many of these positions allow you to receive tips from satisfied customers!

From Plant to Oil: Extraction Technicians.

Being responsible for producing tinctures, oils and concentrates, cannabis extraction technicians require a deep understanding of the different processes used to isolate the beneficial components of hemp. While there are many extraction methods, the most popular ones use CO2, cold-pressing, alcohol or butane.

To become a successful extraction technician, you will need some understanding of the science behind cannabis and their components. Knowing how to use extraction equipment and some experience in the legal marijuana field will be certainly appreciated by potential employers.

Yearly salaries for extraction technicians in the United States usually range between $27,000 and $43,000 depending on the state.

Testing the Product: Marijuana Quality-Control Inspectors.

For any cannabis business to operate legally in the United States, it needs to comply with several quality standards and regulations. The marijuana industry therefore demands quality-control professionals to ensure that products are in line with the relevant legislation. Quality control inspectors can be employed both by marijuana companies and specialized government agencies regulating the industry.

A marijuana quality control inspector will usually require a PhD or similar education level on a scientific field. Experience in the cannabis industry is certainly a plus.

In the United States, a marijuana quality control inspector can expect to make around $50,000 to $100,000 per year.

The Industry Experts: Master Growers and Master Extractors:

No cannabis product can be made without high quality hemp and an effective extraction technique. Master growers are responsible for cultivating marijuana plants and taking care of the conditions required for them to grow healthy and provide the desired traits. Working with these plants, the master extractor will isolate specific components such as CBD, taking care of following the relevant safety standards and regulations -for instance those regulating the legal limit of THC present in an extract-.

Both master growers and master extractors require high levels of education such as PhDs in biochemistry, botany and horticulture.

While a master grower can make somewhere between $50,000 and $120,000 per year, a master extractor will be earning between $80,000 and $250,000.


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