The beauty of the cannabis industry is that as it becomes less taboo, more opportunities will arise for more individuals to profit in the flourishing field. Not everyone involved in the cannabis industry can be a dispensary owner or a cannabis grower. There is a need for budteneders, bud trimmers and cannabis insurance providers like S2S Insurance Specialists. While these jobs are all important and require certain skills, there is also a demand for jobs that require a more advanced skill set and knowledge. These jobs are more than likely to turn into careers for those qualified, and not just part time jobs while in school.
The jobs cannabis industry employers are most eager to fill usually require chemistry, botany, and/or engineering degrees. The jobs deal heavily with the science of manipulating the cannabis plant for a desired product or effect. Many of these higher skilled positions can pay in the six figure range for larger companies with all signs pointing towards long term job security.
Budtenders, who sell marijuana to customers at dispensaries, typically make about $14 an hour. The job requires an in-depth knowledge of cannabis strains and products and a bartender-like rapport with customers. In Colorado and also Michigan, where medical marijuana is legal, budtenders are required to have licenses.
The greatest demand, according to James Yagielo, co-founder and owner of the Florida-based headhunter HempStaff, is for master extractors. They process the active components THC and CBD from marijuana and hemp to make oils, concentrates, edibles and other products.
The master extractor at Acme Elixirs, a producer of THC and CBD chews and vape pens, earns $250,000 a year, said founder and CEO Peter Pietrangeli. But he said that even with that level of pay it’s hard to recruit and keep these workers “because after a while they’ll get the funding to build their own labs.”
Becoming a master extractor requires a PhD in biochemistry with a background in engineering, which means there’s a small pool.
He said job seekers with degrees in botany, chemistry or pharmacology are the next generation of master growers and lab directors. Like master extractors, lab directors and master growers can earn big dollars.
“I know some master growers who make more than $200,000. They’re valuable,” said William Simpson, CEO of Golden Leaf Holdings, an Oregon-based chain of dispensaries, cannabis farms and manufacturers. “That is going to be a very sought after, difficult position.”
Elad Spiegel, director of cultivation and breeding for Golden Leaf, said his annual pay is $120,000. He has a bachelor’s in plant science from Hebrew University in Jerusalem and started working in the cannabis industry in his native Israel before joining Golden Leaf in 2015.
Having a master extractor or master grower can be a benefit for a growing cannabis company. But, like anything in business there is risk involved. Certain professionals, because of their expertise, are held to a higher standard of liability due to the impact of their potential mistakes. These professionals are well trained and skilled at not making mistakes, but they do happen. If a mistake does happen, you as a business owner want to be prepared. Eric Rahn of S2S Insurance asks a simple question when potential clients waiver on cannabis insurance, “When the shit hits the fan can you afford to clean up the mess?” Professional liability insurance is designed to protect professionals against liability incurred as a result of errors and omissions in performing their professional services. This protects the professional, and with the right risk management strategy, can protect your business as well. Contact S2S Insurance Specialists today to see what we can do for your cannabis business.