Interested in a Career in Cannabis? Discover the Skills and Requirements to Get Started Today!

Posted by Andrew Sharp & Jimmy Long on July 14, 2020

Cannabis is a growing industry offering qualified candidates incredible career opportunities.  Legal cannabis is a multi-billion-dollar market, which is projected to increase dramatically in the coming years. But at the end of the day, no matter how the numbers change, the true growth of this market begins with individual hard work and ends with a patient receiving the care they need.

At every step of the process, from the choice of seeds to the responsible distribution of Medical Cannabis, dispensaries, caregivers, and patients rely on qualified personnel to act intelligently and lawfully. As more states legalize cannabis for medicinal and recreational use, it’s estimated that the industry will create 300,000 new jobs by 2020.  In Massachusetts, a legal framework has been put in place to make ensure the system works.

For those considering employment in this growing field, there are three questions to keep in mind. First, what skills and qualifications are needed to work at a Register Medical Dispensary? Second: what are the regulations potential employees need to be aware of? And Third, Am I Interested in pursuing cultivation or patient care?


Cultivating cannabis is extremely difficult and producing high-quality, consistent strains is a combination of art and science that takes expertise, time and patience to achieve. Selecting the seeds to grow and breed requires an extensive knowledge of cannabis biology and genetics. Chosen based on a combination of research, experience, and imagination, Sira Natural’s ability to deliver a variety of top-quality products is literally grown from the seeds of leading vendors worldwide.

Nurturing a cannabis plant through its growth stages involves a mix of delicate and labor-intensive tasks. Plants require different amounts of light and water at each stage; a small mistake at any point during the plant’s life cycle, and an entire crop could be jeopardized. Much of the work cultivating cannabis is not glamorous, but it’s all important.

This is why dispensaries are on the lookout for reliable workers with a sharp attention to detail. Growers need to understand the purpose behind the work they put into each plant they tend, from nurturing a seedling to temperature-controlled storage. After the harvest, the complex process of extracting oils from flowers in order to make consistent edibles and products must be overseen by a knowledgeable and careful operator.

The Skills and Character of a Patient Advocate

At the retail level, the primary purpose of an RMD employee is to provide patients with information about the therapeutic properties and effective use of cannabis to provide relief from pain and disease.  Dispensaries must be staffed by knowledgeable employees who are able to educate patients and caregivers about the benefits of specific strains of medical cannabis.  In addition, Patient Advocates provide information and helpful tips on intake methods and accessories, as well as proper and safe storage.

Registration and Regulations for Massachusetts MMJ Employees

According to regulations set up by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, a Registered Marijuana Dispensary needs to register anyone associated with the business. This includes “board members, directors, employees, executives, managers, and volunteers.” In short, anyone who wants to work in the Cannabis industry in Massachusetts needs to become a registered dispensary agent.

Applicants must be at least 21-years-old and must not have been convicted of a felony drug offense. Along with a background check and a fee, applications include an attestation and an acknowledgment of authorization.

In the attestation, individuals must officially declare that they “will not engage in the diversion of marijuana.” In the written acknowledgement, individuals detail the limitations on their authorization to “cultivate, harvest, prepare, package, possess, transport, and dispense marijuana for medical purposes in the Commonwealth.” These regulations promote trust in the industry by promising to hold people accountable from the boardroom to the basement.

Successful applicants are issued a registration card, which must be carried whenever they are working. This card is valid for one year and may be renewed annually as long as the individual continues to meet the requirements of the law.

After being hired by an RMD, employees are mandated by law to receive training on medical confidentiality. In addition, the RMD must provide for eight hours of training each year.

If you are up for the challenge, view our job listing page for open roles!

Topics: Cannabis Careers

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