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Jobs in the Cannabis Industry



The European cannabis industry is already growing and adding jobs in nearly every country due to medical cannabis. With the expected adult-use legalization coming to numerous European countries, the cannabis industry is expected to create hundreds of thousands of jobs and be worth up to $57 billion just in the next 5 years. This is a great time to find a career in what will most likely be the fastest-growing industry Europe has ever seen. As with any industry, if you can get in early, you can gain experience and grow with the industry.

So then the question is, what jobs are there in the cannabis industry? Well, the cannabis industry has the full range of jobs, just like any other industry, from entry-level to highly educated, from low-tech to high-tech, and from plant-touching to non-plant-touching.

We will go over the different job categories and types of jobs you can expect to find in the industry. In future articles, we will review ways to prepare for and apply for those jobs.

The broadest way to divide cannabis jobs is plant-touching versus non-plant-touching. Quite simply, plant-touching is any job where you are physically touching the plants. This is what many people picture when they think of cannabis jobs. But actually, there are also many non-plant-touching jobs.

Although we have certain jobs listed in certain areas, there are a lot of crossovers. For instance, all areas need quality control and mid-level managers (depending on the size of the operation).

Also keep in mind that everyone starts off with little or no experience and must gain experience somewhere. Therefore many companies are willing to provide on-the-job training and help enthusiastic and friendly employees gain the knowledge and experience needed to move up.


Plant-touching jobs are mainly in cultivation, processing/manufacturing, and sales (dispensary).


Cultivation at CannPrisma facilities, in Portugal. Foto: Laura Ramos | Cannareporter

Most cultivation facilities are high-tech operations, involving either growing in a warehouse or in a greenhouse. All aspects of growing the plants are monitored and adjusted, including lighting, airflow, temperature, humidity, nutrient levels, pH, and EC, among others.

  • Cultivation director: The cultivation director is in charge of the cultivation facility, managing all aspects, including compliance, personnel, logistics, etc. They make sure the whole facility is running smoothly, on budget, and is following all regulations and laws. This role requires extensive management experience and extensive experience in the cannabis industry.
  • Master grower: The master grower is in charge of the actual plants and making sure they are healthy, managing pests, and managing all of the complex inputs into the growing process. They must be able to troubleshoot all aspects of the grow at a moment’s notice to keep the plants healthy and alive. This requires extensive experience in growing cannabis. Education in agriculture or a related field is also a plus.
  • Trimmer: This can be the entry-level position in the cultivation facility although the operation also requires experienced trimmers. Trimmers are directed by the master grower in how to care for the plants, harvest and dry the cannabis, clean the grow areas, move and adjust equipment, and all other tasks as directed by the master grower.


Cannabis must be dried, trimmed, and packaged. If extracts and/or edibles are being produced, then there is extensive further processing to be done.

Quality control at CannPrisma facilities, in Portugal. Photo: Laura Ramos | Cannareporter

  • Extraction processor: This is the process of turning cannabis flowers into oils or other forms of extract. This role requires extensive experience as a lab technician and is extremely detail-oriented.
  • Edibles chef: The chef is a baker of cannabis products. This can be a fun, creative role but requires experience.
  • Quality control: The QC person is involved in the cultivation, processing, and the dispensary settings. In the processing and extraction, the QC is perhaps more complicated and important since the raw material is being transformed into a different material and there is a risk of introducing impurities. This requires experience and additional education and training.
  • Packagers: This can be an entry-level position and often is done by the trimmers in smaller operations. In large operations though, there will be packagers separate from the trimmers.

The dispensary is the retail/sales facility in the cannabis industry.

A budtender in a U.S. dispensary. Photo: D.R.

  • Dispensary manager: This person is in charge of the retail location and ensures that all laws and regulations are followed, is responsible for the finances, personnel management, and customer service. This person usually has extensive experience in retail and cannabis and many times has worked their way up from entry-level positions or transferred from retail management in other industries.
  • Budtender: This is the front-line salesperson in the dispensary. It can be entry-level with on-the-job training but some cannabis knowledge and experience are typically required.
  • Cashier: This is usually an entry-level position but some prior cashier experience is desirable.


There are non-plant-touching jobs in all areas of the cannabis industry, both at facilities where cannabis is present and in offices and other companies that provide services to the cannabis industry. In the same facilities (cultivation, processing/manufacturing, dispensaries) where you have plant-touching employees, you also have non-plant-touching employees.

  • Office staff: Secretaries and other office support staff are required to keep facilities running smoothly.

    Security at the Medicane facilities, in Campo Maior, Portugal. Photo: Laura Ramos | Cannareporter

  • Security: Given the high value of cannabis and the large amounts of money involved, security is a paramount concern. Some training is required but can be an entry-level position up to an experienced and highly trained position.
  • Cleaning staff: All facilities need to be kept clean. These are typically entry-level but do require managers with experience.
  • Maintenance: Cultivation and extraction / processing / manufacturing facilities are complex and require daily maintenance and regular repairs and upgrades. These can vary from entry-level to requiring extensive experience.
  • Human resource staff: These positions usually require experience and training but can be from another industry.
  • Web and graphic designers: Like all retail businesses today, design services are needed. Training and experience are necessary but cannabis industry experience is not necessarily required. These positions typically require experience but the experience can be from another industry.Many times there are also some entry-level positions available with on-the-job training.
  • IT: Cannabis is a highly technical industry and IT is needed in all aspects/facilities. These positions can be entry-level with some education and experience to requiring extensive experience and higher level training, education, and certifications.

    Cannabis transportation in the U.S. – Photo: D.R.

  • Logistics: Cannabis is highly regulated from the transport of seeds and plantlings at the beginning of the process to the transport of finished products (flowers, extracts, edibles, etc). This requires coordinated and tightly controlled logistics. The position requires experience but can also have on-the-job training.
  • Accounting: Someone has to make sure bills and invoices are paid, taxes are paid, employees are paid, and the money coming in is properly tracked and allocated. This requires education, training, and experience. However, the experience does not have to be from the cannabis industry.
  • Legal: Given the complex laws and regulations, which vary from one country to the next, legal advice is crucial to running a cannabis company. Typical employment and corporate law are also needed. This is a highly educated and trained position but it does not have to come from the cannabis industry.
  • Managers and Executives: The larger the company, the larger the staff will be, and the more managers will be required to oversee the operations and people. Many times managers and executives come from other industries. The key is having a good track record and experience.

As you can see, there are all types of jobs at all different levels of experience, training, and education. Given that the industry is growing quickly, it is not possible to fill all positions with people with cannabis experience. As a candidate looking for a position in the industry, evaluate your past experience, your skills, and your passions and see how you can apply them to the jobs that are of interest to you in the cannabis industry.

Good luck and have fun!
Bjoern „Andy“ Mannsfeld, MD, was born in Cologne, Germany, and moved with his family to the USA as a young child. He had the privilege of visiting Germany regularly as he was growing up, keeping close family and friend ties in Germany. After receiving his masters degree in bio-medical sciences he received his medical degree and moved to Colorado, where he practiced Medicine for many years, before going into medical consulting services. During this time, he was involved with numerous start-ups, including in genetics and medical software. After living in Vietnam for 4 years, he moved to Berlin, Germany, in 2020 and became directly involved in the cannabis industry. Through friendships in Vietnam and Germany, he founded EUCannaJobs in 2020 to fill the need in the European cannabis, CBD and hemp industries for a comprehensive jobs platform.


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