Are you looking for work? Perhaps one of the many who has been laid off due to the pandemic? Or, maybe you’re looking for a job change, wanting to get into the world of weed. Whatever your motivation is, it’s a good time to get into the industry, as it’s still young and full of opportunities. Some of these opportunities might surprise you, but there’s one that’s the most sought after of all of them. Want the most in demand career in cannabis?
What kinds of careers are there?
Before we get to the weed position that employers most want to fill, just know there’s lots of career options available in general. You can become a budtender, an edibles chef, or use your more traditional professional services training such as accounting or law to find a place in the business. Even working in an ancillary industry that does not directly interact with the plant is a great way to transition into cannabis.
All right, great. So what is this coveted position?
Have you heard of a master grower? If you haven’t, what they do is essentially manage a greenhouse or other cannabis growing facility. Master growers need to be strong leaders who oversee, recruit and terminate staff, and take responsibility for quality control. They execute plans for breeding all types of plants, checking plant health and other potential problems, and overseeing the facility’s production. Master growers have a tremendous amount of responsibility, and work their way up through the growing ranks to achieve their status. They’re in charge of what grows and how, with deep strain knowledge and background. They know, for example, how much light a strain needs, what sort of nutrients they require, and so on.
Bottom line, many years of training and experience goes into the position, which is why it’s so in demand.
What do I need in my background to get a position?
It helps if you have a background in botany or horticulture. In addition to on-the-job experience, we’ve talked a lot about some continuing education programs. Here in the Midwest, the biggest and most established program to date is through Northern Michigan University. Additionally, you can major and minor in a variety of cannabis production and business programs at Western Illinois University and Southern Illinois University.
If you’re strictly working your way up, you’ll most likely need to take an entry level position such as harvester, assistant growers, or lab assistant on a cannabis farm.
Not that this is about the money, but how much can I make?
The salary range is wide, and spans $75,000 to $200,000 and upwards annually. Of course, much of that depends on where you are in the country, and how much experience you have. The median is somewhere around $120,000 and up once you have 5 years experience and beyond.
Sounds awesome. Anything else to know?
Just know that this positive outlook is only going to expand. As the country moves towards nationwide legalization, great master growers are going to continue to be in high demand. If you’re looking for a solid, valuable career option in the cannabis industry, and you have a love of the plant, master grower is a great option to consider.