As Michigan prepares to begin legally selling cannabis, many residents are excited to be able to purchase legal cannabis. However, legalization also means a whole new wave of jobs for enthusiasts. Whether you’re an expert or someone who is just getting into the industry, these are some of the jobs you’ll want to keep an eye out for.

Bud Trimmer

If you’re looking to get your foot in the door with the legal cannabis industry, working as a bud trimmer is a good way to go. As cannabis-related jobs go, this one is relatively straightforward. A bud trimmer is essentially a harvester–you’ll be cutting flowers from stems. Depending on the size of the operation you work for, you may only work on a part-time basis, or there may be enough to do to keep you working full-time.

Most bud trimmers are paid either by the hour or by the pound harvested. This job doesn’t pay as much as some of the jobs on the list, but it’s an excellent way to get familiar with the industry and make crucial contacts. If you perform well as a trimmer, you may be able to work your way up to being a grower or dispensary manager.

Grower or Cultivator

As marijuana becomes legalized, demand naturally increases. And if you’re someone with experience as a hobbyist grower, you may be interested in working as a grower (also called a cultivator). This job generally requires some level of horticultural expertise, as well as management skills. Many grower job listings prefer that applicants have a degree in horticulture or a related field, as well as experience working in or managing an indoor greenhouse.

On the horticultural front, working as a grower requires you to manage lighting, irrigation, nutrient delivery to plants, and pest control, usually in a large growing facility. Most master growers also need to oversee staff and manage budgetary concerns, too. This depends on the facility–some growing facilities may have a management position separate from the position of a master grower, while others may require the master grower to also perform management duty.

Of course, if you have space and funds, opening your own growing operation is an option. And if you want to work on developing new strains, this is a great time to do so. Newly-opened dispensaries will likely be interested in new products, and forming an ongoing relationship with trusted growers is a goal of many dispensary owners and managers. Since the legal marijuana industry is just beginning in Michigan, you also may be able to start with a smaller growing operation and expand it gradually.

Cannabis Industry Job Outlook


While a budtender works in a dispensary, this job is much different than a typical retail job. Many budtenders are required to have a degree or certification in cannabis science. This training helps them to excel in the main function of their job–making product suggestions and recommendations to customers.

Particularly for customers seeking cannabis for medical reasons, the advice of a budtender can be very valuable. Because budtenders have a deep, working knowledge of how cannabis works in the body, they can recommend specific products to treat mental and physical issues. To a new medical cannabis patient, the array of available products can be overwhelming. A budtender can help guide new patients toward something that’s likely to help. They also can give you dosage recommendations, which is helpful for new cannabis users who may not understand how dosing works.

Of course, as a budtender, you would still need the customer service skills of any store employee. But due to the specialized training that’s almost always required, budtender jobs tend to pay better than regular retail jobs.

Dispensary Manager

Dispensaries are the cornerstones of the legal cannabis industry, and as new dispensaries pop up in Michigan, most will be in need of managers. Managing a dispensary is, in many ways, like any other management job–you’ll usually need to do the following:

  • Hire, train, and manage employees
  • Create a set of store best practices
  • Manage inventory and store budget
  • Select new cannabis products to be sold in the store
  • Make sure your dispensary follows state and local laws concerning cannabis sales

If you’re hired as a manager at an established store, you may not have much say in what products you sell. But at some stores that are just starting out, you may also be tasked with finding new products to stock. This is especially true if a dispensary owner doesn’t know much about cannabis, or if they want a second opinion on which products to sell. If you’re a cannabis enthusiast with previous management experience and the desire to get into a relatively new industry, this might be a good job to pursue.

Director of Extraction

You already know that you can find cannabis in more forms than just flowers. But for gummies, mints, and tinctures, someone has to be responsible for extracting THC, CBD, and terpenes. These people are often directors of extraction. However, this job isn’t for everyone–you’ll need extensive chemical knowledge, and many directors of extraction come from careers as chemists or have a Ph.D. in a related field.

However, a lab is almost never staffed by just one person. If you have lab experience and an interest in the cannabis industry, you still may be able to work in an extraction lab. After all, products need to be tested in order to determine their exact makeup. You may also be able to apply as a lab assistant or technician.

Final Thoughts

It’s generally well-understood that legalized cannabis will bring new revenue to the state of Michigan, but this welcome change also brings a wave of new potential jobs. If you can see yourself being a part of this dynamic industry, start looking for jobs now–you might just be an interview away from the job you’ve always wanted.

When you are ready to move to Michigan and open up your cannabis business, contact us and we will let you know which properties are zoned for your business purposes. Our real estate agents will research each property and will let you know if you can work with the local community to zone your property for marijuana businesses.


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