Watch Out of Office on our YouTube Channel

Want a Career in Cannabis? Check out These 4 Jobs That Didn’t Exist Pre-Legalization

Though October 17, 2018 — the day cannabis became legal in Canada — might seem like it was yesterday, a lot has happened over the past eight months.

Even though medical marijuana has been legal since 2013, many people who were making a livelihood from cannabis worked in informal businesses. In the years leading up to legalization, many of these operations have gone through the process of legalizing, so they can exist within the formal economy of Canada. This has meant one really important thing: the creation of thousands of new jobs across the country. In fact, it’s estimated that 125,000 new jobs will be created in the year after legalization alone.

Below, we’ve listed some new occupations that didn’t exist a year ago. Thinking of making the jump into cannabis? We’ve also gone ahead and dove into who is perfectly suited for these hot new jobs.

  1. Budtender

The role of a budtender is multifaceted: they must know the ins and outs of the many different types and strains of cannabis that a retailer or licensed producer offers, while also serving the needs of marijuana customers who are looking for cannabis for specific purposes. This new role is really the closest to the apex of consumer and cannabis. “Being a cannabis sommelier entails developing a nose, eye and taste for cannabis and its plethora of different strains. Although enthusiasts know quite a bit, this is on a whole other level,” says Guy Degrace, Product Knowledge Expert at HEXO, a Quebec-based licensed producer.

Who should apply?

Retail workers, servers or bartenders who know a ton of information about cannabis would do very well in this role. You need to want to educate the public on the many strains and which type is best for which desired effect. You definitely need people skills, as well as customer service experience, and above all a deep respect for weed and paraphernalia.

  1. Director of Edibles

Before we dive into the description, can we just take a moment to appreciate having this job title on a resume? Though edibles are still being developed by licensed producers and are not yet legal to purchase, their time is coming this autumn and winter. A Director of Edibles manages the manufacturing of quality foods that meet the requirements of all regulatory agencies and, of course, are compliant with the Global Food Safety Initiatives program. This person oversees an entire team responsible for producing the edibles in a safe and secure manner.

Who should apply?

Those who have had careers in food and safety and who have managerial experience would do well in this role. Different job descriptions tailored to this job, such as this one at HEXO, suggest that a degree in food science and knowledge of Health and Safety Regulations will also be important here.

  1. Research Chemist

This role resides mostly in the R&D department within a company that produces cannabis products. They spend their days researching new and more efficient ways to extract cannabinoids from plants. This person will be responsible for improving cannabis crops by conducting trials that look at all elements involved in plant production, such as: water, fertility, lighting systems, growing media, pruning systems, or plant spacing. They’ll also work with internal teams responsible for plant health on collaborative trial design, the implementation of trials and the translation of results into production recommendations. This role requires someone who’s a whiz with data and reporting, has regular meetups with a company’s R&D team to make improvements, and stays up to date on all things happening in crop production tech.

Who should apply?

Those with a Ph.D. or M.Sc. in Agronomy or Horticulture experience, or individuals with experience in petrochemical, pharmaceutical, agricultural or nutraceutical industries, will thrive here. It would be essential to have experience in commercial crop production systems in greenhouses or outdoors. Those who have been drawn to plant production, plant physiology, flowering crops, and experimental design and analysis in a commercial production context should also apply.

  1. Master Grower

Another job description that would be pretty phenomenal to display on the ol’ resume, a Master Grower is responsible for managing the life cycle of all plants, from cloning to cultivation, in a large-scale commercial growing facility. These people take complying with Health Canada regulations very seriously, as well as find it second nature to diligently fill out daily records and documentation for all plants. A green thumb doesn’t hurt either.

Who should apply?

Those with experience in horticulture, science, engineering, or who have experience with large-scale plant cultivation, would likely have the necessary experience to jump into this role. As Canada’s first female master grower in cannabis, HEXO’s Agnes Kwasniewska says the job is incredibly special. “It for sure has a lot of ‘wow’ factor associated with it. I have a feeling of wonder every time I walk through my greenhouses, knowing that all these plants are legal. It’s not every day you get to grow a plant that has been so forbidden and grow it completely legally.”

Ready to dive into the cannabis industry? Check out companies like HEXO, who are hiring for exciting new cannabis positions by the fistfuls.



Carla Bragagnolo

Carla is in constant pursuit of the extraordinary; she is based out of Toronto due to its proximity to great food, its diverse music scene, and because it allows her to catch a flight to pretty much anywhere. Follow her adventures at @carlabrags.