In just the past eight years, nearly a dozen U.S. states have legalized marijuana for all adults aged 21 and older. During the same time period, Canada and Uruguay legalized marijuana nationwide, and dozens of states and countries have legalized marijuana for medical purposes.
This mass-legalization has led to a blooming and bustling legal marijuana industry, which currently employs hundreds of thousands of people across the United States alone. With this in mind, you may be seeking careers in cannabis, and want to know: What are the top degrees to land a cannabis position?
Here’s a list of relevant degrees you may want to consider:
First, let’s start with the obvious one. Throughout this list we will cover many mainstream degrees like business administration which could be relevant to a job in the legal marijuana industry. However, what many people don’t realize is that many accredited universities actually have courses and degrees in cannabis and topics directly related to cannabis.
For example, here are some classes offered by mainstream universities:
– Northern Michigan University: Medicinal plant chemistry course
– The University of Washington: Medicinal Cannabis and Chronic Pain
– UC Davis: Physiology of Cannabis
– The Ohio State University Law School: Marijuana Law, Policy & Reform Seminar.
Then of course there are marijuana degrees offered by marijuana-specific colleges such as Oaksterdam University and Humboldt Cannabis College, many of which will show potential employers that you’ve made a concerted effort to learn about the plant. This provides you a large leg up on other applicants.
The rapid increase in locations where marijuana is legal has led to a massive new market. Because of this, and because in many locations marijuana outlets face stiff competition, it’s important that these places market their shop in order to bring in new customers (which is why you’ll often see ads for them in local papers, online, on sites like WeedMaps, etc.).
This means that many locations have a designated marketing director in charge of marketing the business to the public. If you have a marketing degree, this puts you a huge step ahead of others in obtaining a cannabis-related marketing job.
Running any business is a challenge, takes a lot of work and requires a massive amount of attention to details. This is especially true in the marijuana industry, where you have to deal with a wide-range of ever-changing issues related to taxes, zoning issues, insurances, regulations and so forth. This makes having a degree in business administration incredibly important, as it demonstrates that you’ve extensively studied what it takes to properly run a business.
As marijuana becomes legal and its consumer base increases, people are wanting to know more about what is in their marijuana – and many locations where marijuana is legal require it. Because of this, marijuana labs are a big part of the marijuana industry, and these locations are often run by certified chemists. Although a chemistry degree can be tough to achieve, this are well-paying and stable jobs.
Given the complex array of local, state and federal laws, regulations and taxes marijuana businesses must deal with in order to comply with the law, many of them have one or more attorney hired who consult them on a regular basis.
Achieving a law degree and focusing on helping marijuana businesses is a great way to be a a large, important and useful role in the growing marijuana industry.
Cooking with weed is a thing. Not just a little thing, it’s a big deal! From fine restaurant to manufacturers of edibles, creative chefs with expertise in how to leverage the effects of the cannabis plant are in high demand.
Learning the intricacies on being an expert grower of crops is obviously a major benefit in landing a position in the cannabis industry. Whether as a Cultivation Director, master grower, trimmer, quality assurance expert, production assistant, or cultivation technician, having a degrees in horticulture is an enormous asset.
Like all companies, cannabis businesses need human resource experts to help them manage their people. As the industry grows, talent acquisition is critical and a Talent Acquisition expert or headhunter is an important HR role for all large cannabis companies
Similarly, finance majors will find it easy to get into the field as more large companies appear in the space. It is expected, like with any new industry, that there will be consolidation, buyouts and mergers in this industry as large enterprise take a strong foothold in this fragmented industry. Strong finance personel are required to both run the daily financial of these businesses but to assist in valuation and decision for these types of acquisitions.
As the cannabis industry continues to grow, it is attracting many educated and successful employees from other industries. More and more businesses are being created in this space and require strong employees from other domains. The opportunity continues to grow for mainstream careers to enter the cannabis space and take advantage of this hyper growth.