People don’t immediately associate the marijuana industry with science but if you are a scientist, or plan to become one, it’s an association you will want to give some consideration.
Typical jobs in the cannabis industry include budtender, cannabis trimming, packaging, grower and positions in transportation security, most of which require little training and pay $8 to $14 an hour. However, scientists now are in demand in marijuana. And the pay reaches some impressive amounts.
One of the biggest jobs in the industry is that of master extractor. Scientists in this role handle the task of removing the active chemical ingredient in marijuana, most often THC (the chemical ingredient that produces the “high” feeling) and CBD (cannabidiol, an ingredient associated with health benefits that does not produce a high).
In turn, these ingredients are used to create a variety of products. They include different strains of marijuana that produce a variety of effects. They also include hemp products, oils, lotions and edibles.
All of these require a high degree of skills, training and education. Becoming a master extractor requires a doctorate in biochemistry. But time and money spent on education pays off. Master extractors earn $250,000 a year, an industry expert told CNN money.
Supply drives the high salaries. There are a limited number of people who hold a PhD in biochemistry who want to get into the marijuana industry. Jacob Silverstein, a cannabis industry consultant, told CNN, “This is a rat race for talent.”
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