Looking to explore lucrative career options in the cannabis industry? You’re not alone. The cannabis industry is booming all over the world, and is being viewed as a very serious business. In fact, dozens of schools across the country are offering more cannabis-centric courses and degrees to support the 12 billion dollar industry. There’s a ton of money to be made within the industry — and no, you don’t have to be a budtender to work with weed. Here are the top degree paths to pursue if you want to work in the cannabis industry.

1. Cannabis Degrees 

While that may sound pretty vague, lots of accredited schools in the US are allowing students to major in cannabis. Between countless strains, medical trials, and plant-related sciences, there are a multitude of directions to go when you major in cannabis. Some schools offer medicinal plant chemistry courses that allow you to study ways to apply cannabis to health, and others offer physiology and plant biology classes. Some schools centralize on studying cannabis in the medical industry, cannabis law and economics, and more. Majoring in cannabis will require studying organic chemistry, genetics, biostatistics and chromatography. Experts suggest this career path earns about $70k right out of college.

2. Biology Degrees 

As a living thing, cannabis falls under the biology umbrella. Biology degrees include things like botany, genetics, horticulture, environmental studies, and centers mainly around growing really strong cannabis plants. These degrees may also teach you some medical coursework, allowing you to understand how cannabis works with the human body as an intoxicant. A biology degree is great if you want to work one-on-one with plants or study how they help or hinder people.

3. Marketing Degrees 

Marketing is a degree that pays dividends. Every industry uses it, and every business needs it. The cannabis industry is no different. Legitimate businesses in legal states have to compete for business, and they need a team of savvy marketers to help them do it in an industry where traditional marketing tactics can’t work. A marketing degree will teach you how to develop brands, run marketing campaigns, and evaluate different areas of industry and performance metrics that will help cannabis businesses like farms, dispensaries, concentrate companies and ancillary industries have a cutting edge as the market continues to saturate.

4. Healthcare Degrees 

Who do you think is conducting all the research on the potential medical applications of cannabis? It’s scientists and doctors with healthcare degrees, of course. A healthcare degree will allow you to study the active components in cannabis and how they interact with humans. With a healthcare degree, you can become a marijuana doctor, provide cannabis research, therapies and treatments while also paving the way for cannabis research as a doctor, nurse, healthcare admin or researcher.

5. Business Administration Degrees 

Cannabis businesses are becoming more and more legit, which is why a lot of mom and pop shops have been shutting down. To succeed in this industry, you have to have a head for business. A business administration degree can teach you how to face complex challenges and logistics as well as figure out taxes, insurance, zoning, paying bills, and keeping up with the constantly changing regulations imposed on the cannabis industry. Whether you join someone else’s team as a business admin or you start your own cannabis business, a degree in business administration can help you learn to run a business, practice accounting, manage organizations, know the laws, and so much more. It’s a great degree that pays very well.

6. Agricultural Science Degrees  

Agriculture will teach you how to grow cannabis commercially, though it can be a really tricky course of study. An agriculture degree will teach you everything you need to know about the environment that plants grow in and how to remedy them, it’ll teach you environmental and weather patterns, variations between different kinds of strains, and more growing techniques than you can imagine. You will learn the skills to manage every moving part of a growing operation as well as sustainable growing practices.

7. Criminal Justice and Law Degrees 

Every cannabis business needs a good lawyer to help them stay compliant in a fast-paced and constantly changing industry. There are many different types of law degrees that support the cannabis industry, including things like compliance, legal researchers, law enforcement officers, and other personnel who keep the cannabis industry afloat. However, there is also the optiion of going into criminal justice, and focusing on cannabis convictions. By studying criminal justice or law, you can help the cannabis industry find consistent and fair policy on cannabis, protecting businesses and users alike.

8. Political Science Degrees 

Cannabis has always been a public issue, and the industry is working on ways to find a sensible solution to the cannabis issue. Political science is a lot more than just defending and understanding the law, though. Political science degrees can be used for reform, and will teach you about things like electoral politics, public administration, civic action, and constitutional law. It will also help you learn how to participate in the lawmaking process, whether as a lobbyist, public office holder, activist, or nonprofit organizer. At the end of the day, it’s a pretty rewarding career path and there’s plenty of money to be made doing it.

9. Chemistry Degrees 

Chemistry is a science degree that breaks down substances like cannabis into little pieces for study. A chemistry degree can be applied to all sorts of different industries, from cultivation to healthcare. Studying chemistry and applying it to cannabis will help you uncover the potential benefits and potentially negative impacts of cannabis use on people and the environment. It may also help you understad the soil and water chemistry that supports commercial cultivators and the environment, the human body, and other areas. Cannabis chemists can be lab technicians, scientists, researchers, teachers, and so much more.

At the end of the day, cannabis is just like any other industry, from food to healthcare to cosmetics. It takes a lot of different people doing lots of different things to keep it profitable and functional for everyone in the system. Luckily, there are many different degrees and career paths you can choose from to support the cannabis industry and make some pretty great money while you’re at it.

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Ben Walker writes for Stoner Things, covering the cannabis culture from a unique perspective. He doesn't just offer insights into the world of weed, but also provides hands-on reviews and tutorials for the latest products. With a decade of experience spanning cultivation and market trends, Ben advocates for informed and responsible cannabis use. His work goes beyond navigating the ever-changing cannabis landscape; it's about education and community development done right, coming from a place of knowledge and respect. If you want to stay up-to-date with cannabis trends and learn from an experienced guide, Ben's work is an invaluable resource.


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