The emerging marijuana industry is increasingly offering a range of job opportunities to people wanting to get in on the ground floor of what could ultimately become one of the most lucrative businesses in the world. One of the more interesting jobs is that of marijuana extraction technician.
What does a marijuana extraction technician do? Better yet, how does a person become a technician? Those two questions, and others, will be answered in the following paragraphs. Needless to say, opportunities are out there if you are interested in pursuing this particular career.
- A Basic Description
The marijuana industry continues to evolve at a rapid clip. As such, there are few standards for what qualifies as a marijuana extraction technician. Here is a basic definition: a marijuana extraction technician is responsible for processing cannabis plant material in order to extract cannabinoids, terpenes, and other compounds.
The extracted compounds are used to manufacture CBD and THC products. Those products include things like CBD oil, CBD-based health supplements, THC edibles, CBD and THC vape cartridges, etc. In essence, extracting the compounds from cannabis plants affords the opportunity to do more with cannabis than just smoke it.
- Typical Job Responsibilities
Marijuana extraction technicians can have a variety of job responsibilities based on employer policies. Generally, the primary responsibility is to operate extraction equipment. According to one manufacturer of such equipment, Houston-based CedarStoneIndustry, cannabis extraction equipment is highly complex and requires at least a minimal amount of training.
Other job responsibilities may include:
- testing and certifying extracted compounds
- analyzing and recording test data
- isolating certain compounds from full-spectrum oil
- maintaining health and safety protocols.
At this point, there really is no hard-and-fast list of daily job responsibilities. The job itself is evolving right along with the industry.
- Typical Hiring Requirements
As for how to become a marijuana extraction technician, hiring requirements differ from one company to the next. There are some companies willing to hire high school and community college graduates and train them on the job. Others have more strict hiring requirements that may include a college degree and at least some previous experience working in a similar industry.
Future applicants hoping to maximize both their employment chances and earning potential should seriously consider earning at least a bachelor’s degree. Good fields to pursue are chemistry, biology, botany, biochemistry, phytobiology, and chemical engineering.
The advantage of having a degree is that it gives you a leg up on career advancement. Someone who becomes a technician by way of on-the-job training can still advance up the career ladder, but a person who comes into the industry with a college degree has a greater chance of advancing more quickly.
- State Licensing Requirements
One last thing to know is that many states require marijuana extraction technicians to pass a background check and obtain a license. The licensing process usually isn’t anything complicated or extreme. It is usually just a matter of registering with the state, providing some personal information, and paying the licensing fee.
You should know that most states also require marijuana extraction technicians to be at least twenty-one years old. If you are twenty-one and can pass the standard background check, getting a license is pretty straightforward. However, you may be turned down for a license if a background check reveals something state regulators don’t like.
Becoming a marijuana extraction technician is one way to break into what is arguably one of the most exciting industries in the U.S. Becoming a technician would mean embarking on a solid career with plenty of opportunity and a good long-term outlook.