Marijuana industry salaries may surprise you

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Salaries for marijuana positions have risen 16% in a year

Compared to 2017, hiring in the marijuana industry rose 76% last year. There is still a need for qualified individuals at all levels and companies are happily paying some of the best salaries in any industry. Salaries rose 16% from 2017 to 2018 and industry insiders don’t expect the climb to stop any time soon.

Looking at the different sectors in the industry, average salaries are relatively impressive. Budtenders, who often act as a counselor, product advisor and cashier, take home around $32,980. This is $5,980 more than a “standard” bartender and $4,780 more than a retail salesperson. If you want a budtending job, check out California, Colorado, Illinois, Maryland and Massachusetts, as these pay the most.

Chefs producing CBD (cannabidiol) edibles aren’t as lucky. Their average salary is $46,640, about $3,000 lower than it is for chefs and head cooks in the foodservice industry. This is most likely due to the current sentiment regarding CBD edibles in the country.

Dispensary managers have a challenging position and cannabis companies want to make sure they’re amply compensated. The average wage is $68,333, which is around $11,000 more than a food service manager. Head to Maryland or Massachusetts to become a dispensary manager if you want more money.

Those with loftier goals might want to try for a CEO position. The average salary among the top five marijuana companies is $528,090, but the figure is skewed by the massive $1.5 million earned by Adam Bierman of MadMen. Take out his salary and the average is $285,113, which is still higher than the national estimate of $196,050.