The growing acceptance of cannabis in the United States, along with the legalization of recreational cannabis use in 18 states, has created a booming industry around growing, preparing, and selling marijuana.
Unfortunately, the novelty of the field has also led to a lot of misinformation and misconceptions. Cannabis use is still taboo in many parts of the country, making it difficult for those interested in diving into the growing industry to sort truth from lies.
Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Here are four myths about working in the cannabis industry, debunked.
Misconception #1: Cannabis Workers are All Stoners
The first myth about the cannabis industry goes hand-in-hand with a popular myth about cannabis. The myth is that marijuana industry workers smoke a lot of marijuana and are lazy as a result.
This myth is patently false. It’s based on the idea that marijuana can cause sluggishness. While marijuana can cause fatigue, the feeling is temporary. To be sluggish at work as a result of cannabis use, you’d have to be using marijuana on the job, which you aren’t allowed to do, even in the cannabis industry.
The truth is that cannabis industry workers, like workers in any other industry, don’t necessarily even use cannabis, and if they do, they certainly don’t use it on the job. In the same way every vineyard worker isn’t a drunk, every cannabis worker isn’t a stoner.
Misconception #2: All Workers Deal Hands-on With Marijuana
It’s not hard to see where this myth came from. In a business that cultivates and sells marijuana, there’s a tendency to imagine everybody works in the thick of it.
In the same way that we don’t often think of janitors or administrators when we think of hospitals, most of us don’t think of cannabis jobs that don’t directly involve growing or selling cannabis. Among the unsung heroes of the industry are the dispensary managers, the people who maintain the HVAC system so the plants stay at the optimum temperature, lab workers dealing with cannabis products, and many others.
Misconception #3: The Industry Is Under-Regulated
Despite being a somewhat young industry, marijuana is fairly well-regulated in states where it is legal. Legalizing cannabis also means figuring out a way to regulate it, so states that have chosen to do so have set up or appointed cannabis regulatory committees to set up laws for the industry.
Legalizing cannabis also means that legal dealers have no incentive to hide from state governments, which makes them much easier to inspect. When inspections are easier, the product has a much higher likelihood of being safe.
Additionally, with cannabis legalization comes cannabis-related degrees. Professionals in the cannabis industry are receiving formal academic training in their craft at increasing rates, thanks to the launching of several cannabis programs in colleges around the country. Now, you can receive a certificate in cannabis agriculture, a Bachelor’s in Medicinal Plant Chemistry, and a Master’s in Medical Cannabis Science and Theraputics.
Misconception #4: You Can’t Make Over $50K in the Cannabis Industry
You may never make six figures as a budtender (though with tips, who knows?) but there are plenty of highly lucrative jobs in the cannabis industry.
Being a director of operations for a cannabis brand could get you as much as $155K annually, and cannabis agronomists can make as much as $110K per year.
See our list of the highest-paying jobs in the cannabis industry for more ideas.