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Illinois MMJ Industry Kickstarts New Job Market

Photo By Tim Sackton/Flickr


Illinois MMJ Industry Kickstarts New Job Market

The medical marijuana industry in Illinois is expected to get underway sometime in the next several months, prompting cultivation centers, dispensaries, and ancillary businesses to begin searching for new hires interested in getting in on the ground floor of this new market.

For some, the employment process has already begun, according to a recent report in The Chicago Tribune. Individuals with expertise in fields ranging from commercial printing to the military are finding out that their skills are not only useful, but also desperately needed in many aspects of this contemporary trade.

Representatives with the Oak Park-based PharmaCann, which will soon open two cultivation centers and a number of dispensaries, said they have been “flooded with resumes,” attracting law school graduates, scientists and people searching for an internship.

What ties all of these different applicants together, said Norah Scott, who oversees the human resources department at PharmaCann, is that most are connected to someone who has experienced the medicinal benefits of cannabis.

“About 50 percent of the people I have interviewed, maybe more, have a family member or friend with a debilitating condition,” she told Cannabis Now.

The majority of the applicants willing to take a shot on Illinois’ medical marijuana program are not at all concerned about the risk involved. The program, which was met with approval in 2013, is only set to run for four years unless state lawmakers take a serious interest in expanding it beyond 2017. Even if the legislature gives the extension a green light, Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner has said that he does not support prolonging the pilot plan.

“The governor believes there is a lot of time left to evaluate a pilot program, and we should not extend the program until it has been fully evaluated,” said Rauner spokeswoman Catherine Kelly.

However, the companies the state has approved for licenses are concerned that they will not survive long enough to be evaluated. So far, only about 2,600 patients have been officially qualified to take part in the medical marijuana program, a number which business owners fear will not be enough to sustain the market.

Industry analysts have given Illinois a “C” for program stability, but an “A” rating for overall opportunity – a good enough reason for ambitious workers to give the cannabis industry some serious consideration. The latest data reveals that as many as 3,000 new jobs stand to be created as a result of Illinois medical marijuana program.

As it stands, companies are searching for cultivation technicians ($10-15 per hour), budtenders (up to $20 per hour), trimmers ($10-12 per hour), dispensary managers (up to $80,000 per year) and master growers (up to $120,000 per year).

What type of job would you like to have in the cannabis industry? Let us know below.



  1. john Kereszteny

    July 18, 2015 at 7:49 pm

    Marijuana for Christmas trees’,yes,yes,yes,please,please,please. Christmas tree salesman.

  2. casey rose

    July 16, 2015 at 10:37 pm

    I’d like to package or sell(;

  3. Mathias Kasmic

    July 10, 2015 at 10:09 am

    I’ve been staying abreast of the Illinois MMJ industry and have yet to see any postings for Finance or Accounting management positions. Surely, these companies need a VP of Finance or CFO to help them manage a vertically integrated business that in all likelihood has multiple locations across multiple lines of business? I’ll keep my eyes on the job mkt but please update this post if you come across any managerial finance or accounting roles. Thanks!

  4. Tommy Tsunami

    July 9, 2015 at 1:47 pm

    This is bull. They only want people that have a ton of collage & are way over qualified. Like people could go to collage to learn to grow cannabis all along. I have 20yrs exp & have been self-employed for 3 as a caregiver & still couldn’t get hired or have someone really look at my resume. Good luck to anyone that tries. For me it was a huge waist of time. I am branding my own “Tommy Tsunami” & producing because no one will hire. Peace & love

  5. Richard Runyon Jr.

    July 9, 2015 at 12:50 pm

    Id like be in this industry it’s one of my Passions and I believe it helps all kinds of people every single day. I wouldn’t mind being a cultivation technician budtender trimmer any of that such. it would be a dream come true to become and employee and help so many people in this static grilling field

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