Tech Careers in an Essential Cannabis Industry

by | May 12, 2020

Detroiter Karhlyle Fletcher is the host of High Lit, a cannabis research and classic literature podcast featuring leading voices and independent music. In addition to years in written and video cannabis journalism, he is also a traditional author.

It’s no secret that cannabis has been a growing industry for years, and so naturally, opportunities abound. Cannabis supplies entire cities with a new industry, as well as dozens of jobs that go beyond the budroom. In an era where cannabis has been deemed essential, many see a bountiful opportunity and an allure to join the exciting and developing world of technology careers in the cannabis industry. 

Tech Careers in Cannabis Commonly Require Ph.Ds 

For those looking to put the adventure back into tech positions, working in an extraction lab might be the natural fit. While rosin extraction processes are relatively simple, most large-scale commercial producers rely on solvent-based extraction, short path distillation, or isolate extraction tech.  

Each extraction method has perks and downsides. While solvent-based extraction is undeniably scalable, it involves potentially volatile chemicals. Due to such a nature, solvent-based extraction requires an experienced technician. Similarly, the complexity of isolate extraction requires a cannabis industry tech on-site for smooth operation. Luckily for those filling the positions, facilities for these sorts of extraction methods require steep costs. With that sort of investment in a highly demanding industry, companies are sure to pay the right candidates well. 

Curious STEM doctorates are the most sought-after applicants for extraction technician positions. Some extraction facilities require extraction techs to hold at least a master’s in one related field, including chemical engineering, physics, or other STEM majors. 

Those skilled enough to become extraction technicians can expect to enjoy an average salary of up to $60,000, while others make well over $100,000 a year. Master extractors, who oversee facilities and manage teams of people, can make more than $150,000 a year. For those who love the responsibility of working with volatile equipment, few positions will deliver an engaging experience or worthy reward. Join the ranks of engaged employees today in the cannabis tech industry.

Biology Drives Natural Tech Jobs

If you’re uninterested in getting involved in extraction machinery, you’ll be happy to find the natural world of cannabis tech jobs is ripe with opportunities. From researching the fundamental attributes of the plant to decoding the effect light has on growth patterns, biologists are unlikely to run out of room to explore. 

Perhaps the most uncomplicated tech position for biologists to target is that of a master grower. While starting growers make about $40,000, apt growers can triple that within three years. 

However, those uninterested in working with plants don’t have to. Last year biologists were able to create synthetic cannabinoids at UC Berkely through genetically engineering yeast. Or, for those who prefer to play in the dirt, visionaries such as William Albrecht paved the way. His work showed how soil functioned as technology and enlightened the world about mineral and nutrient content. Now biologists are fine-tuning their formulas for super soils for growers to use throughout the world. Cannabis industry tech jobs are as versatile as they are interesting.

Chemistry Improves a Natural Technology 

Research tends to be a thankless job for many unsung heroes, but cannabis chemistry stands out as one of the most exciting fields in contemporary science. Regardless of the potential profit, studying how to make THC water-soluble is fascinating. While much of the work will take a long time to become something lucrative, the possible payoff is tremendous. 

Currently, chemists are already working on the tech to harvest tissue culture from cannabis to create more perfect clones. Additionally, there’s ongoing work to design genetically modified cannabis for specific attributes, such as potency. As chemists are also breaking down the compounds and intricacies contained within the cannabis plant, their potential in the field only increases. 

In addition to these commercial pursuits, the work of chemists defines the modern cannabis industry. Without them, there wouldn’t be an understanding of cannabinoids and terpenes or the entourage effect. The average consumer would have none of the information they have now. Cannabis chemists created the modern environment we enjoy today. If you’re looking to either break into the exciting world of cannabis products or to further our understanding of the plan, cannabis chemistry is likely the right tech job for you. 

Improving the Way We Approach Technology

Last century and up to the last decade, massive pools of leading talent and energy were sucked up by the oil and gas industries. Additionally, our preeminent minds occupied themselves with various bombs and other military equipment. Now, with less demanding governments, and an atmosphere of progress, perhaps this is the generation of change. Oil and gas jobs are already shrinking. Maybe we will finally see the pursuit of tech for the sake of ecological development, and to improve the general quality of life. 

The cannabis industry is not out of gifts to give. Biodegradable plastic, construction material, and environmentally friendly oil is only part of its potential. Tech jobs will continue to thrive in the field as long as innovation does, and with more brains entering the industry every year, there seems no sign of an idea drought.