64 %



JANUARY 1ST, 2017 - AUGUST 1ST, 2018


16.1 percent

BETWEEN 2017 AND 2018


Your Guide to Hiring Competitively in the Cannabis Industry

The industry is rapidly taking off, and cannabis companies continue to compete to recruit and retain the best talent. We believe hiring and holding onto the best talent will be the differentiating factor between good cannabis companies and great cannabis companies.

Since 2015, Vangst has pioneered recruiting solutions exclusively for the cannabis industry. Through Direct Hire, Vangst GIGS, and our job board, we’ve connected thousands of people around the US with jobs in the cannabis industry.

We used our data as well as surveyed cannabis companies around the US to compile salary data for the most hired positions in the cannabis industry: Director of Extraction, Director of Cultivation, Compliance Manager, Dispensary Manager, Outside Sales Representatives, Budtenders and Trimmers. This information should be used as a guide only.

Survey Participation and Methodology

In order to utilize the most accurate and up-to-date information possible, data was acquired directly from businesses within the cannabis industry through a survey deployed by email.

Survey data from participating organizations was enhanced by leveraging Vangst internal data, which provided key data from the cannabis industry’s premier placement agency. Vangst can ensure that this data is reliable as the majority of it was gathered directly from our colleagues and clients within the industry. However, as with any survey of data, in order to account for the potential for misreporting, human error, and other variables, always allow for a slight margin of error.

Please note that the data is reported in aggregate. A salary survey provides a look into the industry at a certain point in time. As the cannabis industry continues to grow at an exponential rate, we will continue to communicate with businesses within the industry in order to provide the most accurate and reliable data possible in future reports. The information below summarizes statistics compiled by the Vangst team based on the largest validated set of data in the cannabis industry.

Hot Jobs in the US Cannabis Industry

Director of Extraction cartoon headshot

Director of Extraction

Oversees all cannabis extraction and refinement operations. This includes facility design, laboratory setup, standard operating procedure development, regulatory compliance, hiring, training and personnel management. Responsible for ensuring all cannabis extracted products are produced safely, efficiently, and consistently.

Director of Cultivation cartoon headshot

Director of Cultivation

Oversees all cultivation operations to ensure the production of compliant and high-quality cannabis. Establishes all standard operating procedures, nutrient and harvest schedules, integrated pest management programs, hiring, training and personnel management. Responsible for ensuring the highest levels of plant health, potency, and production.

Compliance Manager cartoon headshot

Compliance Manager

Ensures local, state, and federal compliance with all laws and regulations. Implements a company-wide program, which includes seed to sale tracking and internal compliance audits. Anticipates and tracks pending and current laws and regulations. Creates new policies and procedures as necessary and ensures the staff has an understanding of all compliance requirements.

Outside Sales Respresentative cartoon headshot

Outside Sales Respresentative

Focuses on sales strategies and account management to build value in the marketplace. An Outside Sales Representative develops relationships into new accounts in order to meet sales goals and manages existing accounts using Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software. They enhance product branding and increase sales through the training and education of retail partners and customers.

Dispensary Store Manager cartoon headshot

Dispensary Store Manager

Oversee day-to-day operations of a medical or recreational cannabis retail location. Create standard operating procedures, develop inventory processes, and ensure dispensary is fully compliant with all state and federal regulations. Responsible for hiring, training, and managing all dispensary staff.

Budtender cartoon headshot


Provides excellent customer service to all patients and customers in medical and recreational dispensaries. Uses point of sale system and other technology to ensure all cannabis product sales are properly tracked. Provides information to customers on product choices, consumption methods, compliance, and safety. Remains up to date on all cannabis regulations to ensure compliance within the dispensary.

Trimmer cartoon headshot


Manicures and prepares all harvested flower product to be sold in medical and recreational cannabis retail locations.

How to Read the Data

Each chart provides a look at the following values:


Experience Level: Candidate has less experience than typical for this job.

Skill Level: Candidates require training and development to complete this job.


Experience Level: Candidate has average experience for this job.

Skill Level: Candidate has the necessary skills to complete this job.


Experience Level: Candidate has more experience than typical for this job.

Skill Level: Candidate has a strong skill set to complete this job and likely has additional degrees and certifications.


Experience Level: Candidate has extremely high, relevant experience for this job.

Skill Level: Candidate has exceptional skills to complete this job and likely has advanced degrees and certifications.

Director of Extraction Graph
Director of Cultivation Graph
Compliance Manager Graph
Outside Sales Representative Graph
Dispensary Store Manager Graph
Budtender Graph
Trimmer Graph




71% offer medical insurance to employees.



51% offer dental insurance to full-time employees.



46% offer vision insurance to full-time employees.



46% offer all 3 to full-time employees.



29.78% offer a 401K plan or employee stock options.



21% do not offer any employee benefits.