Jenny Bloom

January 11, 2019

Medical marijuana has been legalized in the District of Columbia for years, and medical dispensaries can be found around the district. These dispensaries are run by the DC Department of Health and hire employees when there are positions available. Unfortunately, while recreational marijuana has been legalized in DC, sales of recreational marijuana are not currently allowed. Therefore, any employment opportunities will be in the medical market or will have to be found in neighboring states that might have legalized the sales of marijuana.

Even though the jobs are in the medical market, that doesn’t mean that entry-level positions aren’t available. After all, medical marijuana jobs are not only reserved for medical professionals; they still need salespeople, cultivators, trimmers, experts, and enthusiasts of all kinds to make even the medical marijuana industry a success. You could enjoy it even more than you might think. If nothing else, starting out as a medical marijuana worker is a good way to get your foot in the door for future recreational marijuana employment.

In any case, there are a few requirements for medical marijuana workers in Washington DC. Keep reading to learn more.

Entry level marijuana jobs in Washington, D.C.

There are two types of business that might interest you in the medical marijuana industry in DC: cultivation centers and dispensaries. Those looking to work in retail will probably want to try their hands as a budtender. It’s important to note that, in Washington DC, many dispensaries choose to avoid using the term “budtender.” Instead, they might call the job a sales associate or something similar. This is to help keep these medical dispensaries separate from the recreational dispensaries found around the United States, especially since dispensaries in DC are run by the DC Department of Health.

Entry level marijuana jobs in Washington, D.C. – Image powered by

Cultivation centers are a haven for those interested in all areas of growing marijuana plants. The first step in building your career as a marijuana cultivator is to work as a trimmer. Although the trimmer position is an entry-level one, it still requires a passion for the industry, great attention to detail, and excellent fine motor skills. Those who are interested in expanding their knowledge of cannabis will do particularly well, and may even be promoted to an assistant grower. If your goal is to be a lead grower someday, this is the way to do it.

Besides trimming the buds, trimmers may also be asked to help with certain aspects of the growing process. This could include watering, feeding, and providing other kinds of care, as well as processing and manufacturing work. If you show your eagerness, skill, and natural aptitude for this job, you can really go places with it.

Some people are really passionate about working in the recreational marijuana industry, but they are less excited about working within the realm of medical marijuana. If this sounds like you, don’t get too discouraged yet. As laws across the nation continue to change, there is a good chance that recreational sales of marijuana will be legalized everywhere in the future. Assuming that does happen, having a few years of medical marijuana expertise will definitely help your chances of getting a job at a recreational facility. In other words, you can “pay your dues” now in order to better prepare yourself — and impress potential employers — in the future.

Legal requirements to work as a trimmer or budtender in Washington, D.C.

If you do get hired to work as a trimmer or budtender in the District of Columbia, you will most likely have to complete an application via your new employer. For your application to be accepted, you should have no felony convictions, no misdemeanors related to drugs (including marijuana), not have had a former accepted application taken away, and not owe the government more than $100 in tickets, fines, etc.

Both you and the company hiring you will have to sign and date the form and have it notarized. You will need to submit a renewal application every year that you want to keep working in the marijuana industry. There will also be a fee that needs to be included in the application, although this fee might be provided by your employer (that, of course, is up to them). If not, it is $75 for an employee, $150 for a manager, $200 for a director, and there are a few other categories of $200 as well. If you are being hired as an entry-level trimmer or budtender, you should check the “employee” box and will owe $75.

Legal requirements to work – Image powered by

Keep in mind that, along with annual renewals of this application, you will also need to notify the Department of Health whenever you make a change to your address, phone number, email address, and so on.

If you do get hired at a medical marijuana dispensary, be sure to find out about whether they will have you fill out this application. It’s a good idea to ensure that you are doing everything by the book under the District of Columbia Department of Health’s guidelines, as, in the end, it will be you looking bad or facing the consequences if things aren’t done correctly.

Marijuana legislation can be complicated, but Jenny Bloom is always up for the task. Although not a lawyer, her experience as a reporter and PR specialist helps her understand legalese – especially when it relates to growing marijuana. A passionate supporter of legalization and home... [read more]


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