How to Work in the Cannabis Industry – Requirements by State

Mike King / Jul 06, 2021
hero-graphic-How to Work in the Cannabis Industry – Requirements by State

Understanding cannabis state requirementsWhile cannabis is becoming more universal in the U.S. with more states legalizing every year, there’s still no universal way to work in the industry. Each state has its own unique set of rules and requirements needed to work in cannabis.

Here at Vangst, we’re on a mission to ensure everyone who wants to break into cannabis should have the opportunity to do so. That’s why we created our Industry Requirements by State Tool, giving you an easy-to-use resource to understand the specific rules and requirements for working in cannabis for each state.

Every state has different cannabis laws and requirements

Like speed limits, liquor store hours, and even pumping your own gas, laws around a lot of things vary greatly by state. The same is true when it comes to cannabis. Learning all about the specific regulations in your state is an essential first step in your cannabis career journey and our Requirements by State Tool is your one-stop resource to understanding all the requirements. And to learn more from professionals currently working in the industry in your state, be sure to check out our state regulations forum and feel free to ask specific questions about working in cannabis for your state.


Current cannabis legalization status in each state

As of 2021, the following states allow (or are in the process of regulating) both adult-use and medical cannabis sales:

  • Alaska
  • Arizona
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Illinois
  • Maine
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Nevada
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • New York
  • Oregon
  • Vermont
  • Virginia
  • Washington

As of 2021, the following states allow only medical cannabis sales:

  • Alabama
  • Arkansas
  • Delaware
  • District of Columbia
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Hawaii
  • Louisiana
  • Maryland
  • Minnesota
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • New Hampshire
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • South Dakota
  • Utah
  • West Virginia

As of 2021, the following states do not allow adult-use or medical cannabis sales:

  • Idaho
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Mississippi
  • Nebraska
  • North Carolina
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Wisconsin
  • Wyoming

How to use our Industry Requirements by State Tool


On your desktop or phone, simply select the state you’re looking to work in from the drop-down menu. Each state will display the current medical and adult-use cannabis status. For legal cannabis states with employee requirements, the minimum age for entry into the industry and the application link will display as well.


Explore the specifics for your selected state to learn about the licenses required, application process, background check requirements, and additional links to learn more.


If you meet your state’s requirements and the state requires a license or badge, open the application link to start the application process. Make sure to thoroughly read the application, submit all required documents and double-check the requirements listed on the government’s website before submitting the application. Read carefully: some states won’t allow you to procure a license until you are actively employed by a licensed cannabis facility.

Let us help you find the perfect cannabis job.

Once your badge or application is approved or if you meet the requirements to work in a state that doesn’t require a badge, you’ve got almost everything you need to work in cannabis. The next step is finding the right job, and that’s where we come in. Be sure to sign up and create your Vangst profile to get started then [check out the jobs( available in your location.

The cannabis industry is flourishing everywhere and we’re looking for all kinds of passionate, ambitious, and dynamic people to make their impact in our growing business.

Join the Vangst Network

Whether you’re looking for a cannabis industry job or searching for the top cannabis talent to drive your company’s growth, the Vangst hiring platform has all the tools you need to make that game-changing move. Sign up and join our network in minutes.

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