19 Pros and Cons of Working at a Dispensary

Working in a dispensary may provide you with opportunities you never dreamed of since the 1970s.

By the 1990s, NORMAL had already fought for more than 20 years in favor of marijuana legalization.

Now’s your chance to legally sell it if you qualify.

Pros of Working in A Dispensary

1. Work With Plants

You have a chance to work with cannabis plants, a job performed in a medicinal or recreational environment.

However, it also gives you another opportunity to work in a garden setting if horticulture appeals to you.

Any nature lover will probably fit right in at a dispensary if they deal with the greens instead of the people.

2. Help Others

You could grow your cannabis knowledge and share it with others.

When you do, you have a chance to help people who may not respond to other treatments as well as they would if taking medical marijuana.

In addition, you can help people struggling with mild anxiety issues keep calm when using the products in moderation.

3. Growing Industry

You will find opportunities despite no Bureau of Labor Statistics 10-year job outlook projection for the dispensary industry.

For starters, Forbes contributor A.J. Herrington reports a five-year cannabis job increase rate of 27%, with 33% from 2020 to 2021.

As of January 2022, at least 18 states have already legalized recreational marijuana.

That does not even include the sale of CBD, Delta 8, or Delta 9 products, which you probably can find in any liquor store.

The number of marijuana-related jobs may continue to increase as more states legalize medical and recreational marijuana.

4. Positive Career Change

Maybe you worked in regular retail settings and wanted to sell items that interest you more than where you used to work.

What is more, just a personal change from whatever you did before considering a dispensary occupation may help you improve your outlook on life. 

Furthermore, starting out in an entry-level position could help you gain management experience.

Then, you can perhaps seek business training and use your skills to continue in the cannabis business or related industry. 

This career change might also lead you to grow, process, or other interests you might have.

Who knows?

Maybe you want to become a part of a marijuana research team someday.

It all can start with one positive career change. 

5. Personal Fulfillment

This coincides with making a positive career change, which is the first step toward personal fulfillment for most people.  

A dispensary job, if that industry interests you, may motivate you to get out of bed because maybe you will now like your job – not hate it.

Your number of happy versus miserable days may increase, regardless of the occupation you choose, as long as it is one you want to work in.

6. Access to Product

You will still have to follow local, state, and federal laws when working in a dispensary.

However, you may have chances to try products otherwise not available to you.

For instance, you might discover new oils, chewable, gummite, or strains you can try, and your experience may be helpful to customers. 

7. Lucrative Income

You may not always earn the top wage if you are a retail clerk.

However, it could generate a steady stream of income.

Entry-level dispensary positions may start out at $30,000-$40,000 per year if working full-time tending to buds or performing customer service roles.

Owning a dispensary may create a net income of $70,000 or more after fees, taxes, and other expenses.

8. Relaxing Work Environment

Keeping the place sterile and following strict processing guidelines will remain a priority.

Still, you may have the chance to work with people who take life a little less seriously than the rest of the world.

You probably will not be able to smoke pot on the job.

However, it may provide you with a friendly, relaxed place to work, unless it is super busy. 

9. Legal Drug Deals

You may no longer have the thrill of dealing marijuana “under the table.”

However, you can at least become licensed and not worry anymore about getting caught if your state allows recreational use. 

As long as you remain within the confines of state and federal law, such as adhering to the personal limits people can possess, you should be fine.

It can take away the anxiety that comes from selling illegal drugs. 

Some former drug dealers may even have the chance to have their records expunged if marijuana becomes legal.

That provision more than likely will remain valid for cannabis sellers only, not for other prescription or non-prescription drugs. 

Cons of Working in A Dispensary

1. Potential Enablement

You are not responsible for other people’s choices if you do not know why they might obtain medical or recreational marijuana.

However, you could unknowingly enable a person who has a substance abuse misuse disorder.

That is not your fault if you take necessary precautions, such as refusing a person who has reached their allowed limit per day or week though.

You may experience a high risk of theft, robbery, or damage to the property depending on your location.

2. Theft Risks

It is wise to have a strong security system in the place where you administer your products.

If you do not own the place, you will have to take anti-theft training seriously and watch your customers while on your shift.

3. Potentially Dangerous

Along with theft, you could experience force with weapons and violence when people try to rob the place.

If any of your co-workers or employees become involved with a shady crowd, that could result in retaliation if illegal plans go awry.

More commonly, you could end up dealing with cannabis users experiencing withdrawals.

They might say threatening things or even act out violently if they have become dependent on using cannabis. 

4. Possible Legal Trouble

Marijuana distribution laws change year to year and maybe even month to month.

This could cause you to break dispensary laws without even realizing it.

Make sure you know the ins and outs as much as possible before working in this industry.

You also need to learn how to use contracts or other disclaimers to protect yourself from personal liability.

Dealing without the proper licenses also is illegal, so do not even think about doing that, especially if you get caught.

5. Requires Advanced Skills

If you own a dispensary, you are going to need to know how to yield a crop your customers can depend on.

This is not a trade you can perfect overnight.

Start out as a clerk, bud attendant, or grower before trying to own a place or become a manager, for instance.

6. Not Always Easy

Tending to marijuana plants and handling the daily customer intake does not come easy.

Everyone wanted cannabis while it was illegal, and the dispensaries probably will have crowds of people stopping by for a supply until enough places open.

On the other hand, online sales might become more popular too.

7. Not Always Full-Time

Many dispensaries did not even open until after 2015, and numerous more just opened after 2018.

Therefore, the industry still needs time to establish itself before determining how many full-time workers a place needs.

You may not have guaranteed full-time hours when you first start.

8. Uncertain Future

Dispensary positions may become more competitive as word spreads of opportunities.

Selling marijuana may become so common, in fact, that you will eventually have as hard of a time finding a job in a dispensary as you would perhaps becoming a doctor or a florist.

You may have to act on this chance before 2030 if you want to secure the best positions.

9. Risk of Temptation

Working in a dispensary may not work for you if you struggle with depending on marijuana more than you should.

If you know this, it could cost you all your cannabis profits.

In addition, it could affect your work performance, personal relationships, mental and emotional stability, and more.

10. High Demand Vs. Supply

You more than likely will have a high demand for marijuana, especially when it first becomes legal in your state.

Your dispensary must know how to anticipate future orders, or you could end up with angry customers.

Pros and Cons of Working at a Dispensary – Summary Table

Pros of Working in A DispensaryCons of Working in A Dispensary
1. Work With Plants1. Potential Enablement
2. Help Others2. Theft Risks
3. Growing Industry3. Potentially Dangerous
4. Positive Career Change4. Possible Legal Trouble
5. Personal Fulfillment5. Requires Advanced Skills
6. Access to Product6. Not Always Easy
7. Lucrative Income7. Not Always Full-Time
8. Relaxing Work Environment8. Uncertain Future
9. Legal Drug Deals9. Risk of Temptation
10. High Demand Vs. Supply

Should You Work in a Dispensary?

If you want to become a part of a growing industry, and it is an opportunity that excites you, working in a dispensary can be “your thing.”

However, you may not want to choose this career path if you feel prone to misusing the product.

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Jamie Willis
Career Specialist at BecomeopediaHi, my name is Jamie Willis, and I have been helping students find their perfect internships and education paths for the last ten years. It is a passion of mine, and there really is nothing better than seeing students of mine succeed with further studies.

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