State of Hiring in Cannabis 2022

Jul 28, 2023


Person Holding Green Canabis

[META: Cannabis continues to be one of the fastest-growing industries in America. This guide will go over all the different types of cannabis sector employees.]

Cannabis Hiring in 2022...

Over the past few years, the cannabis industry has been one of the fastest-growing sectors in the country, but what exactly does that mean for cannabis businesses? A multibillion-dollar a year industry, cannabis employs thousands of people in many different roles, and in this article, we will examine those different roles, look at what each type of employee does and go over some of the key stats that are relevant when it comes to hiring cannabis sector employees in 2022 and beyond.

The Different Types of Cannabis Jobs

In the days before cannabis regulation, it used to be that most people knew of only one type of cannabis employee, "the dealer." These days, however, traditional weed dealers have been replaced by sophisticated dispensary employees who are well versed in all thing's cannabis and CBD. In addition to the front-of-house staff who physically dispense cannabis to consumers, there are also a ton of other employees working behind the scenes to make the industry possible.

Let’s take a closer look at the different types of employees who work in the cannabis sector; we’ll look at what they do, how much they typically earn, and what you should look out for when hiring for one of these roles.

Cannabis Farm Jobs

Farm jobs deal with harvesting the marijuana plants; this often involves growing the plant, extracting the resources, including cannabis, CBD, and hashish, and packaging the product for transport. Cannabis farms are generally large-scale operations with a ton of moving parts. There are six main cannabis farm jobs; let's go over each one and look at what that person does, why they are important, and how much they typically earn.

Bud Trimmer

An excellent entry-level position for those looking to break into the industry, bud trimmers are responsible for trimming the leaves and removing the buds from the plants. Bud trimmers are expected to perform the following tasks: trimming plants, removing buds, weighing buds, labeling and packaging the marijuana, trimming stems, and sometimes removing seeds.

Type of Position: Entry Level

Average Salary: $12-$13 Hourly

Harvest Crew

The harvest crew may also trim buds from time to time; however, the primary job function of this type of employee is to manage the post-harvest production. This can mean everything from stocking, sanitizing, and preparing the warehouse to cataloging inventory and packaging marijuana for distribution.

Type of Position: Intermediate

Average Salary: $12-$17 Hourly

Cultivation Agent

The cultivation agent is the actual farmer who is responsible for growing the marijuana plants. The cultivation agent has many duties and responsibilities, including but not limited to adhering to quality control guidelines, overseeing and optimizing cannabis growing operations, preparing the soil, watering the plants, trimming, pruning, and harvesting the crop. The cultivation agent is also responsible for ensuring the right chemical composition when mixing and adding different nutrients to the yield.

Type of Position: Experienced

Average Salary: $17-$20 Hourly

Grow Technician

These employees assist the cultivation agent with many of the tasks related to horticulture, including pest management, pesticide application, potting, trimming, and de-leafing the plants. Generally speaking, grow technicians have a degree or experience in horticulture, which is the first step for those on their way to becoming a cultivation agent.

Type of Position: Intermediate

Average Salary: $40-50K per year

Master Grower

You can think of the master grower as being the big boss on the farm. This person is the head cultivation agent who all of the other cultivation agents report to. The master grower is ultimately the person responsible for the success or failure of the crop, and as such, they more or less need to know how to perform all of the job duties of each of the other employees on the farm. To become a master grower, you will generally need a degree in botany or horticulture, several years of experience as a cultivation agent, and several years of experience as a grow technician.

The duties of a master grower include managing the lights, power, and growing conditions on the farm or in the grow house, preparing the crop for cultivation, managing the operation, training the other farm staff, troubleshooting problems that arise, coordinating distribution, and answering to the CEO/CFO of the company.

Type of Position: Advanced

Average Salary: $85-150K per year

Cannabis Extraction Technician

The only cannabis farm job that generally requires an advanced degree, such as a Ph.D., the cannabis extraction technician is responsible for extracting the concentrated THC, CBD, and other active ingredients in cannabis for use in other products, such as tinctures, edibles, and concentrates. Cannabis extraction technicians are also required to perform quality control and adhere to industry-mandated SOPs while preparing concentrates and performing extractions.

Type of Position: Experienced

Average Salary: $75-125K per year

Dispensary Jobs

The next category of cannabis industry jobs relates to the actual delivery of the product to the end-user. This typically happens at a cannabis dispensary, although there are also operations that employ people to dispense marijuana products for mail order delivery as well; typically, these are warehouse positions. There are four main employees involved in any cannabis dispensary operation; let's take a look at what each one does in more detail.


Much like a bartender dispenses beer and alcoholic drinks in a bar, so to does a budtender dispense marijuana, CBD, concentrates, edibles, and other cannabis products to consumers at the dispensary. This is the person you're actually giving your money to who is handing you the cannabis you've ordered. The budtender is an entry-level position that's well suited to those looking to break into the industry who may not have a ton of experience; it's essentially a retail position not unlike any other retail job with its respective pros and cons.

The main responsibilities of a budtender include familiarizing themselves with the products on offer at the dispensary, answering customer questions and advising them on which products may be suitable for their needs, entering transactions into a POS system, handling money and making change, preparing orders for customers, and dispensing marijuana.

Type of Position: Entry Level

Average Salary: $12.50-$18 per hour depending upon experience

Dispensary Manager

A cannabis dispensary is very much like any other retail operation, and as such, typically has a manager or several managers in charge of running the dispensary and supervising other employees. Dispensary managers are responsible for hiring and firing other employees, overseeing inventory, pricing, sales, product staging, and dealing with customer service issues. In most cases, the dispensary manager is also the keyholder who is responsible for opening the dispensary each day and locking it up at the end of the night.

Type of Position: Intermediate

Average Salary: $35-90K per year depending upon experience

Retail Inventory Manager

The retail inventory manager is the person who is ultimately in charge of all the products that are being sold at the dispensary; they are responsible for ordering products, promoting new products, organizing the store, maintaining accurate records of sales and services, and managing any issues that arise with the supply chain between the dispensary and the grow facility. Other Duties of a retail inventory manager at a cannabis dispensary include creating schedules, organizing stock, shipping and receiving products from suppliers, and inspecting the cannabis products for any signs of defects.

Type of Position: Experienced

Average Salary: $35-60K per year

Dispensary Owner / COO

The final category of dispensary employees isn't really an employee at all, but rather they are the owner or operator of the company. This is a C-level executive who likely has experience with accounting, running a business, acquiring partnerships, coordinating marketing efforts, and otherwise promoting the brand to customers, suppliers, industry partners, and other relevant parties so as to facilitate the growth expansion and success of the dispensary.

Type of Position: Executive

Average Salary: $125k + per year

Cannabis / CBD Company Jobs

Another main category of cannabis careers are those that relate to working with the cannabis company directly, either through sales, marketing, social media, or otherwise. These are very traditional roles that employ people across many different sectors in industries, so they are not specific to cannabis; that said, cannabis companies without these employees can expect to fail, so let's go over what each one does, why you need them in your cannabis company, and how much you can expect to pay each one of these employees.


Accountants who find employment with cannabis companies are responsible for balancing the books, keeping track of the company's finances, managing accounts, billing suppliers, issuing payments to other third-party vendors, and assisting with the company's tax preparation at tax time. Accountants are typically college-educated and certified in their careers.

Type of Position: Advanced

Average Salary: $40K + depending upon the company and experience


The sales team employees are the ones who actually make the company most of their money. These skilled team members are responsible for acquiring new clients, new corporate accounts and ensuring that the company continues to remain profitable by attracting new business on a regular basis. The duties of a cannabis industry salesperson include but are not limited to finding new leads, making cold calls for the purposes of selling products, dispatching emails and following up with clients and potential consumers, closing sales, hitting company targets, and objectives, and maintaining KPIs.

Type of Position: Intermediate Level

Average Salary: $20-50K per year plus bonuses and Commission.


The marketing team is responsible for making sure that the general public is aware of your cannabis business. A few different subdivisions within marketing include Internet marketing, otherwise known as digital marketing, TV marketing, radio marketing, and print media marketing. Ultimately a cannabis company marketing employee will spend most of their time working on campaigns to attract new business, promote awareness of your company, grow the brand in different markets, and foster accelerated growth and brand recognition for your company. Marketing employees may also be responsible for creating marketing materials, such as menus, flyers, brochures, and coupons.

Type of Position: Intermediate Level

Average Salary: $20-50K per year

Other Cannabis Jobs

Finally, a few cannabis jobs don't fall into any of the other categories but are nevertheless very necessary to this successful operation of any cannabis venture. Let's go over a few of these employees so that you can understand what they do, why they do it, why you need them, and how much you can expect to pay these types of individuals.

Cannabis Writer

Cannabis writers are responsible for producing valuable, search engine optimized content for the purpose of attracting Internet users to your website with the goal of them making a purchase or taking another desired action such as signing up to a contact list or for a trial of some sort. Writers are often required to research industry-specific keywords, craft compelling narratives, and otherwise promote the industry, as well as your specific company, in such a way as to make customers interested in buying from you.

Type of Position: Intermediate Level

Average Salary: $30-75K per year depending upon their skill set and the size of the company        

Product Tester

Cannabis product testers and reviewers play an important role in the process of cannabis sales. They are responsible for trying new products and educating the public about what their experience was with those products so that consumers can be aware of what to expect when trying a new strain or type of cannabis. Product testers are responsible for giving feedback to senior cannabis industry professionals and the general public. Product testers may also be asked to film unboxing videos or other sorts of promotional materials for the web.

Type of Position: Entry Level

Average Salary: $30-50K per year

Delivery Driver

Last but not least, delivery drivers are responsible for bringing customers their orders. Typically to be considered for a delivery driver role within the cannabis industry, a person should have a clean driving abstract, no criminal record, and own their own vehicle. It's also advisable to have GPS so as to be able to locate customer addresses and navigate to them efficiently. Drivers may also be required to handle money and provide change to customers.

Type of Position: Entry Level

Average Salary: $15-$20 per hour


Ethnic farmer picking olives from tree on plantation



Key Cannabis Industry Statistics 2021-2022

As 2021 winds down the numbers are coming in and it looks as though things are trending upwards for the cannabis sector. Let’s look at some of the key statistics as reported by FlowHub for the 2021 calendar year.

  • Approximately 12% of Americans (27,750,000 people) smoke marijuana.
  • The number of active marijuana users has more then doubled in the past decade
  • Millennials are by far the largest demographic with 48% being cannabis consumers
  • American Millennials spent approximately 4.373 billion on cannabis in 2021
  • National cannabis sales rose by 67% from 2020-2021
  • Edibles now account for the largest percentage of sales
  • 14% of Americans use CBD products compared with 12% who smoke dried flower
  • The US cannabis market was worth an estimated 61 billion dollars in 2020-2021
  • The US cannabis market is expected to be worth 100 billion per year by 2030


Cannabis Industry Hiring Statistics 2021-2022

The numbers over the past year have also shown some key trends emerging in the cannabis sector employment market. Let’s look at those now to see what noticeable patterns are emerging.

  • Executive level cannabis salaries increased between 2021-2022
  • 20,000+ new cannabis jobs are expected to exist within the next five years
  • The average wage for budtenders increased by 3% in 2021
  • The average salary for dispensary managers increased by 19% in 2021
  • The average salary for directors increased by 22% from 2020-2021
  • The average salary for merchandisers in the cannabis industry dropped by 19%


The State of Cannabis Hiring in 2022

The cannabis industry continues to be one of the fastest-growing sectors in the Americas, with the majority of American states now having legalized or decriminalized the recreational use of marijuana. Canada has completely legalized marijuana, and Mexico is trending in the same direction. The marijuana industry is a multibillion-dollar industry that is expected to continue growing for many years to come. As such, many savvy business owners are looking to claim their slice of the pie.

In order to be successful with any cannabis venture in 2022, you need to hire the right people; Hopefully this guide has given you some insight into the types of positions that you should be hiring for, what to look for in a good employee for those positions, how much you can expect to pay each type of cannabis employee that you hire, and what each of these employees can do for you.

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