Can cannabis growing be a sustainable job?

A man holds a Cannabis plant during a demonstration in support of the legalization of marijuana outside the Casa Rosada Presidential Palace in Buenos Aires

The cannabis industry is becoming an attractive professional field for many growers, hobbyists and enthusiasts. Due to latest US legalization in the recent years, its market share drastically increased. It’s safe to say that cannabis growing business is thriving. Job openings are now more available than ever!

While cannabis is still illegal on the federal level, through the past 25 years we can see some positive tendencies in marijuana growing industry. For a quarter of a decade, 33 states have passed some form of cannabis legalization (medical/recreational). The future of cannabis seems bright, as more territories are open to discuss legalization. This means more career opportunities. According to New Frontier Data source, the billion dollar marijuana industry would create 250,000 new jobs by 2020.

If you want to work in the cannabis industry, the recruitment system offers some quite sustainable occupations. According to ZipRecruiter, in 2017 the number of cannabis career openings massively increased by 445% and this percentage gets higher every year. The market is growing with excessive rates, providing immense job opportunities. Marijuana-legalized states like California, Colorado and Washington currently have the highest demand for workers. In the near future even more states would get into the big picture. Local authorities are optimizing restrictions, applying new cannabis-friendly laws.

So how does one get a job in the cannabis industry? You can either create your own start-up marijuana growing business or get involved directly with existing companies. The most alluring career options include compliance, sales, customer service, budtender, dispensary manager, director of extraction and trimmer, director of cultivation.

Everyone wants to be successful in life, dream big and achieve their goals. And there is nothing wrong with “thinking big.” But when it comes to cannabis growing, “thinking small” might be the best decision to avoid future complications. For start-up companies and entrepreneurs, the greater success comes with time and effort. So start small, build up techniques and knowledge, improve and scale up.

The basic consumer knows that cannabis restrictions are simple: it is legal or it is not. They are not that simple from a business perspective though. All big fish on the market have strong compliance departments, and the smaller ones should take notes.

To play the game, you should know and obey the rules. Laws are not permanent, certain regulations can be revoked or changed. Packaging, tracking, testing and distribution of marijuana are being modified by authorities all the time. If you want to be in the cannabis growing field, you need to be prepared for such legal situations.

The cannabis industry is a very sensitive field when it comes to financial inquiries. Proper project funding is the biggest challenge for newbies and entrepreneurs. Running a marijuana growing business surely comes at a price, so you need to be careful with your business plan. But how to set up a financially sustainable company? Here is some simple advice – Your financial planning should always include unpredictable expenses. Such may be regulatory changes, price alterations, market disruptions, administration issues, fierce competition and many more.

Consumers are changing their preferences and are aiming at more convenient and healthier options. Due to the emerging interest in different kinds of cannabis products, companies are getting quite inventive. Some users are interested in buying flowers, vaping equipment, and edibles. Others will buy cannabis for medical purposes, rather than for recreational use. In order to succeed in the cannabis growing business, you need to keep up with the trends and be innovative.

To work in the cannabis industry you have to be ready to better yourself. You may have an extensive knowledge on cannabis, but no matter how many articles you read or how many hours you spend in discussions with other enthusiasts, there is always room for improvement. My advice is, make connections with experts cannabis growers, go to conferences, conduct market research and read. Keep learning!

Luis Rivera has 20+ years of experience in global market expansion, business development, mergers and acquisitions, business re-engineering, finance and investor relations of software companies. Since 2015 he is the president of Advanced LED Lights, a leading LED grow lights manufacturer based in Hiwasse, Arkansas.  Please find the link to their website (