Working in Medical Cannabis vs Working in Recreational Cannabis

Jul 28, 2023

The marijuana market is huge, with annual sales of $28.266 billion and 428,059 full-time jobs in
the United States. It is expected to hit $45 billion by 2025, with a potential of more than a million
jobs nationwide.

Despite cannabis being widely heralded for its calming properties, the struggle to make the plant
legal at the federal level has not been easy. Luckily, many states have heeded the call, with 18
legalizing it for adult recreational use and 39 for medical use.
If you are looking for a job or would love to switch, the cannabis industry is open and loaded
with opportunities. The market is new, with chances in both the medical and recreational scene,
and you could move up positions reasonably quickly.
In this article, we explore the differences between working in medical cannabis and recreational

Working in the Marijuana Industry

The various perks of a cannabis job make the market very competitive. You'll need to bring your
A-game whether you want to work in a dispensary, the farm, or grow room. Some of the jobs
you could get include:

● Budtender
● Grower
● Trimmer
● Delivery driver

These jobs require you to have specific sets of skills and qualities, making you stand out from
your competition. When approaching the industry, it is helpful to know the difference between
working in medical marijuana and recreational cannabis.

Medical and recreational marijuana are different in how they are used and regulated. You must
check out your state's rules and the essentials before taking up a job.

Types of Customers

There are two types of people who use marijuana; those doing it for fun and those using the
drug to deal with medical issues. If you work in a state that has legalized both uses, you'll need
to differentiate between the customers or you may end up in trouble.

Recreational marijuana users usually look for something to help them relax, feel excited, or
enjoy a temporary high. On the other hand, medical marijuana patients have a prescription from
physicians. They may be seeking something to numb pain, relieve stress, increase their appetite
or beat sleeplessness.

The recreational customers will therefore mostly be concerned about the amount and type of
high the product will give them. On the other hand, medical customers require more in-depth
information on the type, strain, effect, and other features of the product.

Types of Strains and Content

Do you know about the different marijuana products and strains? If you don’t, you may consider
doing some research before looking for a cannabis job.

Recreational and medical marijuana have two active ingredients; cannabidiol (CBD) and
tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). The difference comes in the percentage of the content.

For a recreational user, you'll likely need to recommend a products with a high THC content and
palatable terpenes. On the other hand, medical users may benefit more from using products
that incorporate CBD and CBN.

Some of the properties of CBD include:

● Anti-inflammatory
● Anti-anxiety
● Anti-oxidant
● Anti-carcinogenic
● Antipsychotic properties


One of the main concerns of customers is the quality of marijuana they use. There is a huge
difference in the quality of recreational and medical marijuana.

The difference begins in how they are grown. While the growing process is usually the same,
the intended usage determines where the plants are grown.

Medical cannabis undergoes stricter and more controlled processes before they are made
available. Usually, they are grown indoors in controlled environments, unlike recreational
cannabis, which is grown indoors and outdoors.

Furthermore, medical marijuana is purer since pesticides are monitored more than in
recreational marijuana farming.

Shopping Experience

The shopping experience for a recreational user defers from that of a medical user. In states
where both uses are legal, the process may seem similar, but there are differences.

The main difference is that medical users need to produce a medical cannabis card to show
they're approved to use marijuana. If you are required to ask for the card at your work, you are a
medical marijuana clinic and are allowed to advise buyers. Also, medical dispensaries operate
more like clinics, where the buyers are treated like patients.

Recreational marijuana users only need to show you an identity card to prove they are old
enough to buy. Usually, if you work in a store for recreational drugs, you are not allowed to give
any medical advice. The environment here is more relaxed, and you interact with customers like
you’re in the hospitality industry.

Make a Career in the Cannabis Industry

The cannabis industry has lucrative and promising jobs for a lot of people. The industry is
expected to grow, and nationwide legalization will make it boom even more.

There are opportunities in both the medical and recreational fields, and all you need are the
right skill sets and knowledge. While both medical and recreational cannabis come from the
same plant, working with them can be very different. Hopefully, this article will make it easier for
you to determine which area fits you best, and the basics to get you started.

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