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These five plant-touching jobs in the cannabis industry are in high demand
by Dessy Pavlova · June 14, 2022
The rapidly expanding cannabis industry has created a multitude of jobs that never existed before, and people from all walks of life are now considering a career in cannabis. The jobs are as varied as they are numerous, as there are opportunities in all stages of production–from the clone room and greenhouses to packaging, processing, and sales. Here, we take a look at the “plant-touching'' cannabis jobs in high demand, or those that require at least some experience and knowledge of the cannabis plant or horticulture in general.
Master growers are in peak demand in the industry, for obvious reasons that you smoke every day. Bringing experience and technical know-how to grow and harvest the finest product possible, master growers can earn as much as $100,000 a year or more, and in some cases may even receive a portion of the company’s profits.
The best cannabis growers are those that have had time to hone their craft. This is why master growers in California are held in such high regard, as the state has permitted recreational cannabis sales for some time. There are also master growers with tons of experience and talent who have operated in the legacy market for years and are currently attempting to step out of the shadows and make the full transition from legacy to legal.
Cultivation technicians are experienced with the cannabis plant from seed to harvest and are usually familiar with cannabis genetics. Cultivation technicians are responsible for the day-to-day operation of the grow, reporting to and taking direction from the master grower. Cultivation technicians perform a wide variety of tasks, from cutting clones and transplanting in the seedling stage and defoliating and topping as the plants mature. Duties also include setting up and cleaning production areas, packaging, and waste disposal. Cultivation technicians are key to quality harvests; Without their everyday tender love and care, cannabis plants would never grow to their full potential and into the delicious products we love to try.
Irrigation associates are in charge of watering and feeding the plants throughout their growth cycles, ensuring things like moisture, fertilizer, and nutrient levels are always ideal, and making adjustments as needed. The job requires regular testing of samples and the ability to use automated systems to monitor irrigation settings and environmental levels. All data is usually recorded, analyzed, and shared with the cultivation team to ensure the facility is operating smoothly. Watering might seem simple, especially with the help of irrigation systems, but regular tap water and rainwater both have too many potential contaminants; watering needs a human touch.
A more specialized job in cultivation, these technicians are responsible for keeping the grow rooms free from an array of pests and pathogens that threaten the crop, from invasive insects to various pathogens like viruses and fungi. The job offers the opportunity for creative problem solving, finding new, less harmless, and more effective biological solutions for the issues that arise throughout the crop’s growth cycle. Pest management is key to a clean crop and quality assurance of the plant throughout the grow cycle.
Some cannabis companies machine-trim their flower, but some prefer the hand-trimming method and need workers for this position. Trimmers use scissors to remove dried flowers from their stems and larger leaves, neatly manicuring the buds for packaging. Bud trimmers are paid $12-$13 an hour or $100-$200 per pound in California, and while it is one the lower paying jobs on the cultivation side of the cannabis industry, it also doesn’t require much besides good dexterity and focus to find a position and excel. The truth is, Bud Trimmers not only have one of the hardest and most manual jobs in the industry, but also one of the most needed. After all, all of us cannabis connoisseurs judge their handiwork every time we break a bud to roll a joint.
Whether you’re experienced in growing cannabis and looking to share your skills with a motivated grow team or just a dedicated worker who’s good with a pair of scissors, the cannabis field offers a number of rewarding and interesting opportunities in the cultivation side of the business.
Let us know whether any of these cannabis cultivation jobs are your dream job!