What is the Cannabis Industry?

The cannabis industry consists of 14 primary categories of businesses, institutions, organizations, and government bodies that derive commercial and social benefits from the cannabis plant and compounds.

Cannabis products - oils and beverage
Cannabis products - oils and beverage

Hello, 👋🏾

I’m Brian Sekandi, and I will be your guide throughout the Cannabis Industry 101 series, also available on Youtube. Subscribe to be notified for new weekly episodes.

The cannabis industry is an emerging economy of commercial-regulated cannabis, cannabinoid compounds and byproducts. Cannabis use dates back to the 3rd millennia BCE as a fibre, food source, medicine, and psychoactive properties.  

Cannabis is a flowering plant that belongs to the Cannabaceae family, which includes hops (used to make beer) and hackberries. Cannabis recognized species are Sativa, Indica and Ruderalis (indigenous to Central & Eastern Europe), although all cannabis plants are considered the same on a molecular level. Cannabis is also known as hemp, which refers to industrial cannabis or low THC content and high cannabinoid concentration cannabis.

Koehler drawing of sativa plant

Hemp is one of the earliest cultivated plants to make rope, paper, textiles, biofuels, and food. Currently, hemp is being used for biodegradable plastics, paint, insulation, and animal feed.  

The origins of cannabis prohibitions in the United States and Canada stem from racism, xenophobia, and discrimination against Black, Brown, Asians, and Mexican. In Canada, Emily Murphy, a women's rights activist and a magistrate, is credited with creating the anti-immigrant bias and war against drugs by publishing her The Black Candle novel in 1922 and articles in Maclean's Magazine. In 1923 cannabis use was banned in Canada and was added to the Narcotics Drug Act in a late-night House of Commons session.

In the United States, cannabis cultivation played an essential role in the 1600s in establishing the United States and its expansion into the Americas. George Washington grew cannabis hemp on Mount Vernon, and cannabis was widely available in pharmacies in the 1850s.

Cannabis was first regulated in the United States under revised poison laws of 1906 that would restrict the sale of cannabis to pharmacies and require proper labelling. California was the first state to included cannabis as a poison.

By the 1930s, cannabis was being blamed for violent crimes, irrationality, and overly sexual by the head of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics, Harry J. Anslinger.

1930s cannabis propaganda

Since criminalization, despite the equal usage rates of cannabis use, Black and Brown minorities are more likely to be arrested, charged and incarcerated than White-Americans. Currently, there are 40,000 people incarcerated for cannabis offences in the United States.

What is the Cannabis Industry? 🤔

The cannabis industry consists of 14 primary categories of businesses, institutions, organizations, and government bodies that derive commercial and social benefits from the cannabis plant and compounds.  


Cannabis Industry Taxonomy
Cannabis Industry Taxonomy

Over the following several videos and blog posts, we will break down each sector, define what it means in the cannabis industry and spotlight companies, jobs and careers for each category.

What is the Cannabis Industry?

Agriculture & Farming 🌱 101

cannabis technician cultivating cannabis plants as a trimmer

Agriculture and farming is the first sector in the industry. Without cannabis agriculture and farming, there is no cannabis industry.  🙌🏾  🙌🏼

Definition: Cannabis Agriculture & Farming

Cannabis agriculture and farming is the cultivation and development of cannabis, industrial hemp, and hemp CBD crops in greenhouses, indoor facilities, and outdoor farming. Agriculture and farming in cannabis consist of cultivation, seed & soil, agriculture technology, extraction, and automation.

Learn more & search for cannabis agriculture & farming jobs near me

Education 101

student in college learns about cannabis education

Whether you come from the legacy market or are new to cannabis, getting the proper cannabis education will help you succeed in the industry.

Definition: Cannabis Education

Cannabis education is the facilitation of acquiring cannabis-related skills, knowledge, and vocational training. Education in cannabis includes higher education, training & development, certification, licensing, and academic research

Learn more & search for cannabis education jobs near me

Financial Services 101

female stockbroker in front of trading screen at her desk

Depending on where you live, access to reliable banking and cash management services in the cannabis industry can be challenging and complex.

Definition: Cannabis Financial Services

Cannabis financial services are economic services provided to cannabis businesses by financial institutions. Financial services in cannabis include venture capital, private equity, insurance, credit unions, and investment banking.  

Article Coming Soon - Search for cannabis financial service  jobs near me


government officials talk in private about regulation

Definition: Government

Government is the governing body responsible for cannabis regulation at a federal, state, provincial, and municipal level. The cannabis industry’s government sector includes government administration, public safety, health & human services, control boards, and commissions.

Article Coming Soon - Search for cannabis government jobs near me

Information Technology & Services

female software developers coding a new application

Definition: Cannabis Information Technology & Services

Cannabis information technology and services support the design, development, maintenance of information technology devices and services. In cannabis, this includes software & cloud, hardware, equipment, and instruments.

Article Coming Soon - Search for cannabis information technology & service jobs near me


manufacturing supervisor inspects bottling plant at start up

Definition: Cannabis Manufacturing

Cannabis manufacturing is the production, development, and processing of consumer goods, industrial goods, machinery, and equipment. Cannabis manufacturers produce food & beverage, personal care, textiles, industrial automation, machinery, and equipment. Vertically integrated cannabis companies have integrated supply chains starting in cultivation, extraction, manufacturing, and retail.

Article Coming Soon - Search for cannabis manufacturing jobs near me

Media & Communications

female influencer records cannabis cooking blog for Youtube

Definition: Cannabis Media & Communications

Cannabis media & communication is the transmission and dissemination of cannabis data and information in media for news, entertainment, public relations, and marketing communications. Media communications in cannabis include publishing, advertising, and entertainment.

Article Coming Soon - Search for cannabis media & communication jobs near me

Medical & Healthcare

medical technican reviews samples in microscope

Definition: Cannabis Medical & Healthcare

Medical cannabis and healthcare is the practice of medicine, the maintenance, the improvement of human and animal health using cannabis, hemp CBD, and cannabinoids. Healthcare companies in cannabis consist of pharmaceutical, biotechnology, mental health, and specialized medicine.

Article Coming Soon - Search for cannabis medical & healthcare jobs near me


social workers, activists, and non-profit volenteers smile for the cammera

Definition: Cannabis Nonprofit

Cannabis nonprofits are organizations that advocate for the public social benefits of cannabis legalization and commercialization. Nonprofits in the cannabis industry consist of charities, associations, human rights, and social equity organizations. Social equity and prison reform are prominent social causes in cannabis.

Article Coming Soon - Search for cannabis non-profit jobs near me

Professional & Technical Services

female lawyer stands in law office library

Definition: Cannabis Professional & Technical Services

Cannabis professional and technical service companies provide specialized services to businesses and consumers. These service providers are public accounting, law firms, testing laboratories, clinical research, security, staffing & recruitment. Occupations in these fields require specialized training, certification, licensing, and education.

Article Coming Soon - Search for cannabis professional & technical service jobs near me

Real Estate

male construction worker building new retail dispensary

Definition: Cannabis Real Estate

Cannabis real estate is the buildings, land, and natural resources for commercial use in the cannabis industry. Real estate in cannabis consists of commercial real estate, construction, architecture, planning, real estate investment trusts (REIT), and building materials.

Article Coming Soon - Search for cannabis real estate jobs near me


Retail dispensary budtender stands outside dispensary with open for business sign

Definition: Cannabis Retail

Cannabis retail consists of physical and e-commerce stores that sell consumer goods, services, and industrial supplies. Retail channels include recreational & medical dispensaries, lifestyle & merchandising, restaurants & leisure, and industrial supplies. Cannabis retail is the largest employment sector in cannabis.

Article Coming Soon - Search for cannabis retail jobs near me

Supply Chain & Logistics

male engineer records inventory data in warehouse distribution centre ready for transportation

Definition: Cannabis Supply Chain & Logistics

Cannabis supply chain and logistics is the movement of raw materials and finished goods between businesses, consumers, and regulatory agencies. Supply chain and logistics in cannabis consist of warehouses, distribution, transportation, and international trade.

Article Coming Soon - Search for cannabis supply jobs near me

Travel & Hospitality

Hotel employee stands outside hotel with open for business sign

Definition: Cannabis Travel & Hospitality

Cannabis travel and hospitality is the movement of consumers and business professionals between geographic regions for business, hospitality, recreation, and entertainment. Travel and hospitality in cannabis consist of hotels & resorts, vacations & tours.

Article Coming Soon - Search for cannabis travel & hospitality jobs near me

tattooed female budtender with eyeglasses and sideways peace hand gesture sign

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