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What are the Best Cannabis Jobs in California in 2023

Cannabis has been legal for medical use in California since 1996, and since 2016 it has been legal for recreational purposes as well. As one of the most established markets in the USA, finding cannabis jobs in California is definitely easier than elsewhere. But how do you know where to start?

From teaching and growing to budtending and sales, many paths can lead to successful cannabis careers. In this post, let’s take a look at how the pros and cons of five different cannabis jobs in California so you can get your job search started off on the right foot.

What is the Best Cannabis Job in California?

  1. Cannabis Educator — The Best of the Best
  2. Medical Cannabis Jobs in California – Best for Healthcare Practitioners
  3. Cannabis Sales Representatives – Best For Those Born to Sell
  4. Dispensary Jobs – Best Cannabis Jobs for Extroverts
  5. Cannabis Growers – Best Cannabis Jobs for Plant Lovers
cannabis jobs

1. Cannabis Educator – The Best of the Best!

Cannabis Educators are tasked with educating the public on cannabis by providing reliable, evidence-based information that counters negative stigmas.

Because cannabis educators create their own perfect side hustles, you can find them:

  • Writing books or articles, 
  • Launching podcasts or YouTube channels,
  • Hosting profitable workshops or clubs,
  • Or starting freelancing careers in the cannabis industry.

Becoming a certified Cannabis Educator is the most rewarding career in this space for numerous reasons.

  1. Even though California is very cannabis-friendly, there’s a lot of misinformation going around. The “cannabis internet” is filled with false information and even deception making it increasingly difficult to uncover the truth. We need knowledgeable and passionate educators to shift the public opinion of cannabis in a more positive direction.
  2. This cannabis job provides flexible hours so you can fit your job around your family commitments. Cannabis education is an ideal career for mothers who want to both earn a living and take care of their children. Being self-employed gives you more control over where and when you work!
  3. You can create your own cannabis job that suits your interests and passions. There are countless ways to make a difference in the cannabis industry as an educator. You can lead workshops, write books, or launch engaging YouTube channels and podcasts. Your unique skill set and passion for cannabis will open many doors. 
  4. You get to avoid “corporate cannabis.” As you explore the various cannabis jobs available in California, you’ll find that many of them are not run by people who are passionate about this plant. Money is often prioritized over people and health, making it very difficult to face each day with enthusiasm.

Learn more about how to get paid to write and talk about cannabis in our free class, Cannabis Careers 101.

cannabis coach cannabis educator

Pros of becoming a Cannabis Educator:

Joining the cannabis industry as a Cannabis Educator is an excellent way to avoid the risks involved in other jobs within the sector, like low wages and the profit-over-people mentality. 

Plus, you can be certified in just 3 months, allowing you to begin your cannabis educator career straight away!

Cons of becoming a Cannabis Educator:

You might start noticing eye rolls at parties if you can’t stop gushing about the benefits of cannabis.

You can read more about what exactly a Cannabis Educator does here.

2. Medical Cannabis Jobs in California – Best for Healthcare Practitioners

California has had a medical cannabis program since 1996, so this particular sector of the industry is further advanced than the recreational side. If you are interested in medicine and cannabis science, then medical cannabis jobs could be the right fit for you.

These roles require a comprehensive understanding of the plant and its medicinal benefits. Research positions with universities and laboratories are available, as well as patient care roles like cannabis-specific doctors, pharmacists, and nurses. 

Some of our Cannabis Coaching Institute graduates add cannabis to their existing healthcare offerings.

Pros of Medical Cannabis Jobs

Becoming a medical cannabis professional is an incredibly rewarding career. Not only will you have the unique opportunity to witness first-hand the difference you’re making in people’s lives, but you will also be able to capitalize on a sector of the healthcare industry that is growing worldwide. 

Recreational cannabis legalization hasn’t gone to plan in California. Increasing numbers of patients are (re)turning to medical cannabis for its ability to alleviate symptoms associated with depression, chronic pain, and more, and opportunities for growth as a medical cannabis professional abound.

Cons of Medical Cannabis Jobs

Anything in the cannabis industry is heavily regulated and accompanied by a lot of paperwork. Yes, even MORE paperwork than healthcare practitioners are already dealing with.

It is also important to note that there is still a general stigma around the use of cannabis, particularly within the medical community.

Where to Find Medical Cannabis Jobs

Indeed is an excellent job search engine that lists medical cannabis jobs. Also check out LinkedIn. It’s a great platform that many cannabis companies use even if they don’t have a presence in other places.

cannabis job

3. Cannabis Sales Representatives – Best For Those Born to Sell

If you’re passionate about cannabis and love engaging with and educating people, becoming a sales rep for a cannabis brand could be the perfect job for you. 

Sales reps travel around their region, meeting with different dispensaries and outlets to spread the word about their brand’s unique cannabis products. Not only do they get to educate people on what makes their products stand out from the competition, but they also get to interact directly with members of the public and hear their feedback.  

Pros of becoming a Cannabis Sales Representative

If you have that special touch for sales, many companies offer great opportunities for growth, competitive salaries, and other benefits that take career paths to the next level.

Cons of becoming a Cannabis Sales Representative

Being a salesperson can involve a lot of travel. For those with families and loved ones, it can be tough to be away for extended periods. Additionally, it may take some time to establish yourself in the especially profitable areas of any given sales region.

Where to Find Cannabis Sales Jobs

Again, Indeed is an excellent job search engine that lists cannabis sales jobs in California. And check to see if your favorite brands are on LinkedIn. Even if you can’t find them on other social media sites, many cannabis companies are represented there.

4. Dispensary Jobs In California – The Best Cannabis Jobs for Extroverts

Becoming a cannabis dispensary agent (aka budtender) is an amazing way to interact with others and share your interest in cannabis. Budtenders are the go-to source for customers looking for the perfect product. 

On top of that, you’ll get to expand your knowledge of cannabis and its wide range of strains and delivery methods.

Pros of becoming a budtender:

Working as a budtender comes with its perks! You get to stay on top of the newest products and trends, form meaningful connections with customers, and even snag exclusive discounts on certain items. 

If you’re in a great dispensary, it’s an exciting role that will keep you on your toes.

Cons of becoming a budtender:

Working as a budtender can also be challenging. Unfortunately, inadequate training and underpaid wages often characterize the experience, leaving many feeling as if dispensaries are focused more on profits rather than people and the plant we all love.

Where to Find Dispensary Jobs

If you’re looking for a job at a dispensary, the best way to go about it is to scope out the shops near you and see which one resonates with your style. Make sure that their unique atmosphere works for you, then drop off your resume with a friendly smile! 

Even if you don’t have previous experience as a budtender, having an upbeat attitude goes a long way in getting the position.

cannabis jobs

5. Cannabis Growing – The Best Cannabis Jobs for Plant Lovers

Have you ever experienced the magic of growing your own cannabis? In just a few months, you can take a small seedling and turn it into a fully-grown medicinal plant. It’s truly incredible to witness.

To be a professional cannabis grower, you must possess an in-depth knowledge of horticulture and have the skills to provide the ideal environment for your plants to thrive. 

Pros of Cannabis Growing

Cultivating cannabis is a fulfilling journey that helps you form a relationship with your plants. You’ll get to witness their growth, and when it’s all done, you’re rewarded with medicine. 

For prefer to work independently, growing cannabis can be an incredibly rewarding experience.

Cons of Cannabis Growing

Working in this role can be physically demanding. From supporting enormous plants during flower to harvesting them, this job will leave you tired!

Unfortunately, all that hard work isn’t usually rewarded with great wages. Many people cannot stay in this job long-term because of the low pay.

Where to Find Cannabis Growing Jobs

First, check this list to see if your city or county allows cannabis businesses, so you know where to start. Next, head to Indeed. It’s an excellent job search engine that lists cannabis-growing jobs. 

The Bottom Line

cannabis jobs

We think the best cannabis job in California is the Cannabis Educator because you can design your ideal job, work where and when you choose, and have a direct impact on the destigmatization of this amazing plant.

Learn more about how to get paid to write and talk about cannabis in this free class, Cannabis Careers 101 or sign up right now and be certified in as little as 3 months.

What is your ideal cannabis job? Let me know in the comments below.

With love,


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Andrea Meharg

Andrea Meharg is a Certified Cannabis Coach and Educator and the founder and CEO of Reveal Cannabis, a cannabis coaching and education agency. Andrea holds a B.A. in Psychology and Spanish and a Bachelor of Education. She's the head Cannabis Science Educator at CCI and loves nerding out!View Author posts

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