How to Get a Business Job in the Cannabis Industry

August 31, 2022

Cannabis is America’s fastest-growing industry. Cannabis business professionals are in demand, especially those with specific expertise to operate within the rapidly changing landscape of legal, regulatory, and financial requirements.

Opportunities abound for business professionals, investors, and entrepreneurs. Keep reading to learn more about how to become a cannabis business professional.

What Does a Cannabis Business Professional Do?

Jobs for cannabis business professionals are not limited to a certain type of role or work environment. There is a growing need for skilled business professionals of all kinds. Whether you like to work with numbers, face-to-face with customers, manage a team or create a marketing campaign, the cannabis industry has a plethora of opportunities to align with your career goals.

Examples of job sectors for cannabis business professionals include:

As the young legal industry evolves, cannabis business professionals will define new niches and opportunities to make an impact in the market.

What Do Cannabis Business Professionals Need to Know?

Cannabis business professionals must have a broad understanding of the plant, the science, and the evolving industry.

Oaksterdam University Business Certification Course covers everything you need to know, including:

  • History of cannabis
  • Policies and laws
  • Physiology of endocannabinoid system
  • Science of cannabis as medicine
  • Cultivation science and operation
  • Extraction methods for creating cannabis products
  • Process and manufacturing
  • Economics principles of cannabis markets
  • Business models
  • Brand identity development

Lifelong learning is necessary because the industry constantly changes as state legalization expands, regulations evolve, and the market matures. Whether new to the industry or growing your cannabis career, you can join our more than 80,000 alums in 110 countries with Oaksterdam University course offerings.

Where Do Cannabis Business Professionals Work?

When cannabis businesses come to mind, most people think of a dispensary or a cultivation facility. However, there are many more types of cannabis businesses, and each needs business professionals with specific expertise and experience in the cannabis industry.

Cannabis businesses can be broadly categorized as either plant-touching or ancillary.

Plant-Touching Cannabis Businesses

Plant-touching cannabis businesses handle cannabis or cannabis products directly, such as dispensaries, cultivation, extraction, lab testing, manufacturing, and distribution.

Business professionals with cannabis-specific knowledge and expertise are vital in plant-touching operations. Following are some examples of business careers in plant-touching operations.

Cultivation Director

Cultivation directors are responsible for large-scale farming practices in cannabis cultivation facilities. The work of a cultivation director is integral to all aspects of the business, including infrastructure, equipment, regulatory compliance requirements, marketing, and personnel management.

Extraction Lab Business Careers

To produce profitable manufactured products, extraction labs isolate specific cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids from cannabis plants. Extraction labs are multiplying to keep up with the growing demand for non-inhalation cannabis products. Cannabis business professionals are needed in every aspect of the business, such as supply chain, regulatory compliance, and operations management.

Dispensary Manager

Working as a budtender in a dispensary is a popular entry point into the industry, a role that can grow into the natural next career step of a Dispensary Manager. The 2022 Cannabis Salary Guide released byCannabizTeam Worldwide singled out Dispensary Manager as one of the eight hottest jobs in the industry.

Ancillary Cannabis Businesses

Ancillary cannabis businesses — AKA non-plant touching — provide products or services that support the cannabis industry. However, they do not touch cannabis plants or products directly.

The complexities of the legal market are continually evolving. Cannabis businesses rely on ancillary businesses with industry-specific knowledge and expertise to comply with state and federal regulations. Examples of ancillary cannabis businesses include legal services, packaging, construction, accounting, real estate, and marketing. 

How Much Money Do Cannabis Business Professionals Make?

If you want to get into the business of cannabis, you’ll have unlimited opportunities to earn any income level in a thriving industry.

Median salaries of cannabis business professionals are among the highest earning roles in the 2022 Cannabis Salary Guide released by CannabizTeam Worldwide. Following are some examples of cannabis business professional salaries.

  • Territory Sales Manager: $85,050
  • Dispensary Manager: $93,900
  • Area Sales Manager: $103,100
  • Area General Manager: $107,000
  • Cannabis Extraction Director: $139,200
  • Director of Sales: $133,900
  • Director of Retail: Multi-State: $143,250
  • Director of Merchandising: $147,500
  • VP of Sales: $158,950
  • VP of Retail: Multi-State: $215,790
  • Chief Revenue Officer : $222,000

Cannabis Entrepreneurship

There are limitless opportunities for innovation in the thriving global cannabis market. Several students each year of Oaksterdam University’s Cannabis Business Certification Course pursue the path of entrepreneurship.

Watch a video for a look inside the college for budding cannabis entrepreneurs.

What Is the Job Outlook for Cannabis Business Professionals?

Cannabis is the fastest-growing industry in the U.S. According to the newly-released Leafly 2022 Jobs Report, cannabis now supports 428,059 jobs, up 33 percent from last year. 

Many of the hottest jobs in the 2022 Cannabis Salary Guide released byCannabizTeam Worldwide are for cannabis business professionals, including:

  • Chief Financial Officer
  • Chief Revenue Officer
  • Cultivation Manager
  • Director of Extraction
  • Director of Operations
  • Dispensary Manager
  • Product Development
  • Director
  • Brand Manager

Most people are new because the industry is in its infancy. So if you don’t have experience in cannabis, you’ll be in good company among those looking to break into this rapidly growing industry.

How Can I Become a Cannabis Business Professional?

Oaksterdam University’s Cannabis Business Certification Course students come from all backgrounds and walks of life. Our students include those looking to enter the cannabis industry, transition from the legacy market or another industry, grow their careers, start a business, or invest.

Our expert faculty is renowned for their knowledge and leadership in the field. Virtual field trips led by experts in the field take students through various facilities in the cannabis industry. 

Instructors and students from around the world meet virtually twice weekly for the Business of Cannabis Live Certification Course. Or, you can learn on your own schedule from anywhere in the world with the Business of Cannabis Self-Paced Certification Course.

Our students find a great environment to grow in their careers as part of the Oaksterdam University community. Reach out today to learn more.

Oaksterdam University’s Cannabis Business Certification Courses offer everything you need to know to become a cannabis business professional. Earn your Oaksterdam credentials LIVE or at your own pace. Learn more or speak to an advisor now. 

Join the Oaksterdam Family

Be part of the movement. Sign up for our newsletter today.

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x