Updated: December 8th, 2021
cannabis and cannabis science

How to Get a Job in the Cannabis Industry

Cannabis is considered a single species with multiple varieties and strains. When people talk about cannabis and cannabis science, what they’re typically referring to is THC-dominant chemovar of medical and/ recreational cannabis, which has mood-altering, psychoactive properties. The main compounds in cannabis are cannabidiol (CBD) and delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Chemovars are generally defined as THC-dominant, THC and CBD in equal ratios, and CBD-dominant, which we refer to as hemp.

For decades in the United States and elsewhere, cannabis was illegal for both medicinal and recreational use. This forced many people to take unconventional paths toward obtaining it, posing both ethical and safety concerns. However, a growing body of research points to the potential health benefits and medical applications of cannabis, including the treatment and management of well-known conditions like epilepsy, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, chronic pain, glaucoma, HIV/AIDS, and Crohn’s disease.

Now, as more states and countries around the world legalize both recreational and medicinal use of cannabis, this class of plants is becoming increasingly mainstream. Data suggests that the legalized marijuana market is projected to grow at a compound annual rate of nearly 15% in the coming decade, and will be worth as much as $84 billion by 2028.

In response to this widespread growth and acceptance of cannabis as a valuable holistic tool, accredited institutions like the Maryland University of Integrative Health now offer Cannabis Science degrees. While a degree isn’t necessarily required to get a job in this industry, a medical marijuana training and education certificate does provide unique benefits and educational opportunities. Cannabis-related certificates and degrees grant individuals the credibility and recognition they need to establish a legal and ethical footing in a relatively new field, help them stand out among the competition, and best serve the people and communities who are interested in using cannabis for their own health and wellness.

How can a degree in cannabis science prepare me for working in the marijuana industry?

Earning a degree in Cannabis Science gives you the depth of knowledge you need to establish yourself as a leader in the field. At MUIH, we’ve developed an industry-leading program known as the Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Cannabis Science: Therapeutics, Product Design, and Quality Assurance. This program is one of the few graduate programs in the country offering this kind of leading-edge education and training. We’re proud to see just how far our graduates take their careers and how many professional paths they’re able to create for themselves thanks to a degree in Cannabis Science.

  • Specializations in therapeutics, quality assurance, and product design
  • Advanced knowledge of the endocannabinoid system within the body, and how it relates to health and disease
  • Best practices for Herbal Medicine dispensaries, including state regulations and industry standards that help support access to quality and safe cannabis-based products
  • Cannabis research practice and theory, to help guide appropriate therapeutic recommendations and evaluate commercial products
  • A comprehensive overview of dietary supplements and health and wellness products, including CBD/hemp-based products and THC/medical or recreational products
  • Ways to optimize health benefits and mitigate risk when it comes to herbal medicine and cannabis

These specializations and knowledge-based courses prepare our students for specialized careers in their desired niches. There is truly no “one-size-fits-all” when it comes to the use and application of cannabis, so having a comprehensive educational background allows you to make the greatest positive impact on individuals who are curious about these plants.

What jobs are available in the medical and recreational marijuana industry?

The medical and recreational marijuana industries offer a diverse range of job opportunities. Having a degree in Cannabis Science gives individuals a competitive edge in an increasingly desirable, impactful, and potentially profitable field. Graduates of our Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Cannabis Science program are creating exciting careers in holistic medicine, health and wellness, product development, dispensaries, and more.

Do you see yourself in one of these roles?

  • Entrepreneurship/business owner (CEO, COO, or CFO): own open and operate your own dispensary or cannabis retail business, with full knowledge of your specific state’s legal standards and policies
  • Budtender: a customer-facing role within a dispensary that helps customers learn about and select the appropriate products for their needs and goals
  • Product development/production manager: lead a research and development team to ensure product quality and oversee its development from start to finish
  • Consultant: provide your expertise and professional insights on a consulting basis to health and wellness brands, supplement companies, physicians groups, and more
  • Grow master/botanical specialist: oversee and manage cannabis warehouses, including gardening, harvesting, troubleshooting grow lights, organizing schedules, and supervising or training support staff
  • Cannabis extraction technician: put your advanced education and laboratory skills to work in order to extract THC, CBD and other cannabinoids that can be used to create high-potency concentrates
  • Chef: combine your interest in nutrition and cannabis by launching your own edibles business to sell in-store or online
  • Research: participate in ongoing clinical, lab-based research studies to help expand the scientific understanding of cannabis benefits
  • Tourism: own, operate, and/or consult with “marijuana tourism” companies that help provide wellness retreats and travel opportunities for cannabis-curious travelers
  • Private practice: work with functional medicine practitioners and other clinicians, including those who work with special patient populations (e.g., children, patients with terminal cancer, etc.)

A job in the medical and recreational marijuana field can complement your existing health and wellness career or serve as a unique career change opportunity. Jobs in this industry can also be incredibly flexible in terms of time and location and can include both in-person and online avenues.

Take a Step Towards a Career in Cannabis With MUIH’s Cannabis Science Program

The cannabis industry is enjoying rapid and unprecedented growth. Due to this growth, the field needs knowledgeable, ethical, and up-to-date professionals who can help guide the field’s direction and maximize its beneficial impact on communities.

If you’re curious about the benefits of earning a cannabinoid certification, or would like to learn more about the Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Cannabis Science offered at MUIH, contact us today, or register for one of our Cannabis Science Webinars.