One of the remarkable pros behind the legal cannabis industry is how it enhances the job market in ways unheard of in our society for quite some time. The endless trickle down from licensed marijuana businesses to the plethora of ancillary cannabis sectors, there is a career path for every type of employee. While many people think of working in a cannabis grow or dispensary when imagining cannabis professions, the truth is that there are far more professions available to passionate employees. One sector many candidates may overlook is the marijuana lab testing job .
Marijuana Lab Testing Facilities
The cannabis industry begins with the cultivation centers and ends with the dispensary, but what lies in between? From cannabis manufacturers to marijuana distribution companies to CBD product companies, each sector provides a unique service to the industry. However, there is one sector which is unbeknown to the average cannabis job search, marijuana lab testing. Without marijuana lab testing facilities, there would no legal cannabis sold in the dispensaries. Not to mention, consumers would have no idea what they are consuming.
Before any cannabis ever reaches the dispensary or manufacturing facility, it must first go through a marijuana lab testing facility. A lab testing facility is not only required by state cannabis regulations, but it is essential in ensuring a safe, quality, and legal cannabis product. In a way, marijuana lab testing facilities are the checks and balances on the quality assurance of legal marijuana. It holds licensed cannabis grows and manufactures accountable and provides the consumers with confidence in the products they are consuming.
Standard Marijuana Lab Testing Services:
- Cannabinoid Potency Testing
- Heavy Metals/Elemental Testing
- Mycotoxin Testing
- Microbial Testing
- Pesticide Testing
- Residual Solvent Testing
- Cultivation Science Research
- Genetic Breeding Research
- Scientific Consulting Services
Top Marijuana Lab Testing Jobs Available
In a marijuana lab testing facility, there are a variety of different positions all with unique responsibilities, qualifications, and daily duties. While many of the roles necessary to operate a lab testing facility require a substantial amount of experience and education, there are many support roles available to qualified candidates. Here is a brief list of the available marijuana lab testing jobs on the market today.
Cannabis Laboratory Director
A cannabis lab director is responsible for the oversight of all technical operations of one or multiple labs, depending on the facility. This role must utilize their experience in chromatography, microbiological analysis, and other chemical methods. The lab director is responsible for establishing and implementing standard operating procedures, as well as, select and develop the lab’s team of qualified employees. All operation activities fall under the director’s duties, which include but are not limited to program results, lab costs, SOPs, hiring, quality assurance, and project development.
A cannabis lab director must have at least a bachelor’s degree in chemistry, environmental studies, biological sciences, or engineering. Further education in these fields is a preferred requirement, but not required. It is common for labs to require two years or more of analysis experience with an accredited laboratory. A lab director must also have strong management, communication, and problem-solving skills.
Average Base Salary: $90,000 – $120,000 / year
Cannabis Laboratory Manager
A lab manager works directly with the lab director to oversee and implement laboratory procedures and operating standards. Lab managers must develop and enforce quality assurance practices, utilize laboratory experience to train employees, maintain regulation requirements, and handle daily operations of the lab.
A lab manager must have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in biology, chemistry, environmental studies, or related sciences. Further education is preferred for this position and often leads to a higher salary. Many of these positions require around 2-4 years of experience running an accredited laboratory.
Average Base Salary: $80,000 ? over $100,000 / year
Microbiologists are responsible for implanting and overseeing all cannabis microbiology tests and sciences. It is their responsibility to follow all operating and quality standards of lab tests. They must work closely with lab technicians to accurately and efficiently provide test results to all clients. It is the microbiologist’s responsibility to oversee all lab inventory, employee efficiencies, lab compliance, and a higher quality of customer service to all clients.
A microbiologist must have a bachelor’s degree in biology, microbiology, or biochemistry. This role also requires experience in agar plating and microbiology with an accredited laboratory.
Average Base Salary: $45,000 – $70,000 / year based on experience
A chemist is responsible for overseeing a variety of analytical tests using high-pressure liquid chromatography. The chemist is responsible for routine analysis of all samples and must follow all standard operating procedures set by the lab. It is their responsibility to provide quality assurance, lab safety, and accurate results on a daily basis. A lab chemist is responsible for working with the team of technicians to provide reliable and efficient results to clients.
A chemist must have a bachelor’s or master’s degree in chemistry, biochemistry, or a related field. Two years or more of laboratory and analysis experience is preferred with a strong understanding of GLP and ISO guidelines. Lab chemists are also expected to have strong communication and organizational skills.
Average Base Salary: $45,000 – $70,000 / year based on experience
Cannabis Lab Technician
A lab technician is an assistant to the lead chemists, microbiologists, and other lab scientists. Lab techs are trained and developed to understand the operating procedures of the lab. Under general supervision, the lab technician will be responsible for implementing the lab’s processes and goals. Daily duties include intaking samples, testing samples, providing proficiency testing, ensuring quality control, handling laboratory equipment, maintaining lab equipment, and handling waste disposal.
The ideal lab technician will have either obtained a bachelor’s degree in a related field of study or in the process of earning a biological sciences degree. Training is provided to qualifying candidates even to those with little experience in the field.
Average Base Salary: $10 -$20 / hour
Other Essential Marijuana Lab Testing Jobs
- Pesticides Analyst
- Hemp Testing Lab Operator
- Cannabis Lab Technician II
- Cannabis Laboratory Assistant
- Field Sampling Technician
Support and Operation Roles in a Marijuana Lab Testing Facility
The above list of marijuana lab testing jobs includes all high-end positions requiring a substantial amount of experience and education. While those positions are ideal for qualified candidates, they are not the only available roles in a marijuana lab testing facility. A lab provides testing and research services to the cannabis industry. They must operate under state and federal compliance and attract quality clients that require their services. For this reason, there is a multitude of support roles necessary for a marijuana lab to be successful.
- Account Managers
- Sales Representatives
- Administrative Assistants
- Marketing Managers and Assistants
- Operations Managers/Directors
- Maintenance Techs
The number of available marijuana lab testing jobs is endless. These facilities need top-notch candidates ranging in education and experience. Similar to many other cannabis job sectors, a marijuana lab testing facility is an excellent cannabis career path for a variety of unique employees. If quality control and data analytics is a passion of yours, a marijuana lab testing jobs just might be the ideal fit!
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