How does job pay compare between Canada’s cannabis industry and other legal countries?

Published Jul 12, 2019 10:30 a.m. ET
iStock / p_saranya

Comparing cannabis salaries in Canada to other legal growing countries

Job openings in the cannabis industry are exploding, and so are the pay scales. Last year hiring was up 76%. It is forecasted that by the year 2021 there will be more than 400,000 people employed in the cannabis industry.

Experience and knowledge of the industry is not a requirement. There is such a demand for workers in this field that employers are providing on the job training to fill the numerous positions available.

Many positions are opening up in the cannabis industry that has no direct contact with cannabis. Business skills, marketing, customer service, and programming are also positions that are highly needed in the cannabis industry. Depending on what your title is will be reflected in your salary.

Here are some of the positions available in other countries like the USA, and the corresponding salaries that accompany them:

1. Trimmers
$12 to 18 per hour
This position is more than likely to be the lowest paid position in the cannabis industry, whether for recreational cannabis or medicinal cannabis production. This job does not require experience but is classed as the least favorite job of the grower. Canadian wages $14.30 - $14.70 per hour.

2. Delivery drivers
$14-$16
Plus tips where the cannabis industry is a legal business, customers can order their edibles, and dried buds for recreational cannabis use, and medicinal purposes. A clean driving abstract and a reliable vehicle or bicycle are necessary. This is an entry-level position. Canadian starting wage is $15.00 per hour.

3. Budtenders
$32,000 - $42,000 per year
This is a position that involves extensive knowledge concerning recreational cannabis and can include medicinal cannabis also — informing the customer re the specific strains and equipment available. The budtender is the face of the industry and the person who guides the first time or repeats consumer in choosing the strain required or best suited to the conditions that the consumer has. Canadian starting wage $15- $17 per hour

4. Website managers and content writer
$30,000- $70,000 per year.
An online presence is needed to ensure that the cannabis industry is promoted as a legitimate business. A history in graphic design, website design, and copywriting are required. The joy of this position is that you can work from any part of the world. Canadian salary $84,100

5. Edible maker or canna chef
$40,000-$90,000
Edibles are becoming a trendy method of consuming cannabis. This can be achieved by enjoying infused candy, drinks, and baked goods. Job requirements involve food safety and culinary school. Canadian salary $50- $100,000

6. Compliance manager
$45,000-$149,000
This is a position not entirely working with cannabis but with the regulatory board. You will be responsible for ensuring all regulations are in effect. A college degree is required, and most jobs will be in countries that have a vibrant cannabis industry that the government has a high level of involvement. Canadian salary is $58-$161,500

7. Director of extraction
$47,000-$191,000
This is the position for the beautiful shatter maker. You will be responsible for managing lower-level extraction technicians. Quality compliance and better ways to make budders, waxes, and dabs. Canadian salary $50-$200,000

8. Dispensary manager
$60,000-$150,000
This position involves being responsible for maintaining stock and ensuring that your inventory is fresh. Your job description will include training and scheduling workers and the daily activities that are played out in dispensaries. The operating within legal boundaries will also fall under the job description. Knowledgeable budtenders often are promoted to this position.

9. Cannabis growers
$50,000 to over $1 million per year.
The ultimate position here is in being an independent grower. The ability to troubleshoot common problems is a top requirement needed for this position. Canadian starting salary $65-$115,000

10. Dispensary owner
Up to and can exceed $1,000,000 when operating your dispensary, the profits are unlimited.
The position is not directly dealing with cannabis, whether recreational cannabis or medicinal cannabis but more on the management sector. This position has the most risks involved in being part of the cannabis industry. Canadian salaries can top the $1,000.000

With the legalization of cannabis in Canada, it has opened up extensive job opportunities in cannabis research. The budding legal business has provided many job opportunities throughout Canada. Salaries for working in the cannabis industry in Canada are comparable to other industrial places in the world that allow the production of marijuana for recreational use or medicinal use.

As the budding recreational cannabis industry develops now is the time to become part of this industry. Be creative, use your transferable skills, and you may find yourself in a lucrative new working field.

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