Alaska Cannabis Jobs & Career Opportunities
Lawmakers reconvened in Juneau on January 16 for the second year of their two-year session, and several cannabis-related bills have been introduced. For the most part, these are positive and designed to improve the program or offer better protections for individuals.
Late last year, the Alaska’s Marijuana Control Board postponed a decision on proposed rules that would allow cannabis cafés to begin operating. While there was strong support, a backlog of pending applications forced a delay in the discussion until spring. We hope that rules that allow adults a lawful place to consume cannabis can be put in place before tourist season begins this year.
Alaska’s growing marijuana industry is attracting workers, but proposed regulations for employees that many have deemed too harsh may keep industry hopefuls from entering the field.
The Alaska Department of Labor & Workforce Development predicts Alaska is on track for its first year of job losses in seven years as the price of oil continues to slide. However, those who want to land a job in the marijuana industry are going to have plenty of opportunities.
From cultivators to processors and retailers, there is plenty of work to go around in the marijuana industry. To get an idea, take a look at these jobs that cannabis businesses will be hiring for in the near future.
Trimmers areresponsible for trimming away all the small leaves away from the bud; and it’s a really important job because consumers’ purchasing decisions are swayed by the appearance of the bud. Trimmers are generally paid by the weight of the finished products, which is approximately $15 per ounce.
But being a professional grower is a lot of responsibility. They need to know everything about nutrient requirements, mediums, light sources, temperature control, air flow; plant diseases, insects and fungi, and plant treatment; and marijuana genetics and breeding.
Alaska has some fine cannabis genetic breeders, and a lot of these breeders need help managing production of their mother plants and clones. Clones managers are responsible cutting and labeling clones, maintaining inventory tracking, organization, and cleanliness – so it’s an involved position. For people interested in this kind of job, expect to be paid a minimum base salary with favorable sales and marketing incentives.
Marijuana product manufacturers are going to be busy, and will need help making products. People interested in this role need to have their food safety permit in addition to their marijuana handler’s permit. A beginner cook can earn $15 per hour while a more experienced chef can earn closer to $30 per hour.
Extraction Technicians really are specialists in the marijuana industry. Concentrates are the new new thing, and people who know how to produce the best concentrates are going to be in high demand. Extraction technicians can expect to start at $25 per hour, while more experienced techs can earn as much as $50 per hour.
Arguably the most important job in the industry, the budtender acts as a sales person, credible resource, and gate-keeper of all cannabis products. Budtenders need to be well versed in the types of marijuana products for sale, methods of ingestion, and how to ring up customers in compliance with state rules and regulations. People wanting to work in this position can expect to earn $15 an hour to begin.
Whether you want to own a marijuana business or work in the marijuana industry, there are going to be plenty of opportunities available in the state of Alaska.