Cannabis is now legal in 30+ states in the United States. In 9 of those states, cannabis is recreationally legal and those numbers are continuing to grow. With the new legalizations it has allowed businesses to track and monitor the new careers that this exciting industry is creating. According to, approximately 10,000 new job templates and descriptions have been created over the past couple of months. With this booming industry and the billions of dollars raised in sales, how is this working out for the people who work for these companies?

As our researches indicates, pretty well!

With decades of staffing industry experience, we have access to salary trends and information from cannabis to non-cannabis companies across the United States. Since entering the industry, we have seen that the East Coast tends to pay a little more than the West Coast. This could be due to the demand for talent in each area.

However, we’ve also noticed that there are positions with cannabis companies such as Laboratory Technicians, Quality Control Chemists and Analytical Chemists that are compensated significantly lower than in traditional industries such as Pharmaceuticals, Medical Devices and Biotechnology in the West Coast Region.

According to ZipRecruiter, Laboratory Technicians (with 1-4 years of experience) in the Los Angeles area make an average of $54,660 with non-cannabis companies. However, cannabis companies in the LA market compensate those same Lab Technicians (on average) around $39,520. Analytical Chemists who work for non-cannabis companies earn, on average, $83,060. Those same Analytical Chemists tend to earn 10-20% less with Cannabis companies.

What is the reasoning behind the drop-in salary when entering into the cannabis space?

Due to  the cannabis industry being a somewhat new,  fewer professionals have direct experience. Trainings and development programs are needing to get professionals ramped up quickly.  For example, somebody that has extensive experience working with FDA requirements might not have experience with ISO regulations. Their experience might be 80% of the way there, however it’s tough to find an initially, perfect fit.

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