Illinois Cannabis Jobs

Illinois Cannabis Jobs
Illinois Cannabis Jobs

If you live in Illinois and are interested in marijuana jobs and cannabis careers, you’ve come to the right place!

From the bustling streets of Chicago to the productive farmlands of central Illinois, cannabis jobs are booming across the state, providing a wealth of opportunities in cultivation, retail, and beyond. Cities like Aurora, Joliet, and smaller communities are becoming increasingly engaged in this market, making cannabis industry jobs an important part of local economies.  If you’re looking to get involved in this exciting industry, understanding the landscape of cannabis industry jobs in Illinois is essential.

Established in 2013, Viridian Staffing has been actively involved in Illinois, providing cannabis staffing to medical marijuana ventures until the state legalized its adult-use (“recreational”) market in 2019.  We are proud to provide Illinois’ cannabis businesses with the very best temp staffing and recruiting services available in the industry today.

In this helpful guide, we answer questions like:

Where can I find Illinois cannabis jobs near me?

Cannabis jobs near me

While by no means an exhaustive list of every Illinois city/town that features cannabis industry jobs, these are among the places that have become most strongly associated with cannabis jobs in Illinois and why.

Chicago, IL
Home to some of the US cannabis industry’s largest multi-state operators (MSOs), Chicago’s cannabis industry is flourishing with a robust market for retail dispensaries, cultivation and product manufacturing centers.

Aurora, IL
Aurora supports a growing cannabis market with many dispensaries and an emphasis on customer education and community outreach programs, fostering a well-informed consumer base.

Joliet, IL
Joliet’s cannabis industry offers diverse opportunities in cultivation, manufacturing and distribution logistics, leveraging its strategic location with access to major transportation routes.

Naperville, IL
Naperville’s cannabis jobs primarily focus on high-end MMJ dispensaries, catering to a wealthy clientele with a preference for premium cannabis products.

Rockford, IL
Rockford is home to some of the state’s most succesful minority owned cannabis companies with an emphasis on cultivation and dispensary operations.

Elgin, IL
Elgin’s cannabis market includes a mix of retail jobs and advocacy roles, with a strong focus on promoting cannabis education and responsible usage within the community.

Springfield, IL
As Illinois’ capital, Springfield has a significant number of cannabis-related governmental and regulatory jobs, in addition to retail and medical dispensary opportunities.

Peoria, IL
Peoria offers cannabis industry jobs mainly in retail, with a growing focus on incorporating CBD products into health and wellness businesses.

Champaign, IL
Champaign, home to the University of Illinois, bolsters cannabis research and development jobs, particularly in agronomy and sustainability practices.

Waukegan, IL
Waukegan’s cannabis industry provides retail opportunities and is growing in manufacturing and processing roles, serving both local and regional markets.

Bloomington, IL
Bloomington focuses on the agricultural aspects of the cannabis industry, offering jobs in cultivation with an emphasis on innovative farming techniques.

Schaumburg, IL
Schaumburg’s cannabis jobs are predominantly in retail and customer service, with a developing interest in cannabis tech solutions to enhance product tracking and customer experience.

Evanston, IL
Evanston’s cannabis market is distinguished by its focus on artisanal and boutique cannabis products, with jobs in small-scale, high-quality cultivation and specialty retail shops.

What are the legal requirements to work in Illinois’ cannabis industry?

Legal requirements to work in the cannabis industry

To work in the plant-touching sectors of the legal cannabis industry in Illinois, individuals must obtain an Agent Identification Card.  There are two kinds of Agent ID cards, depending on the type of cannabis business you are working for or the nature of the role.

  • Cultivation Center Agent Identification Card – Issued by the Illinois Department of Agriculture
  • Dispensing Organization Agent Identification Card – Issued by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation

The good news is that obtaining one of these cards is not required to be hired by a licensed cannabis company in Illinois.  As a matter of fact, there is no way to apply for either of these Agent ID cards unless a licensed cannabis company has already offered you employment.  Unlike some states, it is the employer who needs to submit your application (with your consent and cooperation).  This is typically handled by the company’s HR department.

Here are the key steps and requirements:

  1. Age: Individuals must be at least 21 years old.
  2. Application: The application process requires employees to provide valid government-issued proof of identity.
  3. Fingerprinting: All applicants must submit to fingerprinting as part of their application.  This includes signing a Fingerprint Consent Form.
  4. Application Fee: Each application includes a $100 application fee, but this is often covered by the employer.
  5. Background Check: A background check is performed on all applicants as part of the application process. Certain criminal convictions may disqualify individuals from obtaining a permit.*

* While the Illinois Division of Cannabis Regulation (IDCR) evaluates criminal history on a case-by-case basis when reviewing applications, the following may disqualify you from obtaining an Agent ID card:

  • Conviction of an Excluded Offense: This includes any felony conviction related to controlled substances, cannabis, or methamphetamines. In general, if the offense is directly related to controlled substances, it could be grounds for disqualification.
  • Violent Crime Convictions: Any conviction for a crime that involves violence may also disqualify an applicant. This can include assault, battery, and more severe crimes.
  • Dishonesty or Theft Convictions: Convictions that involve dishonesty or theft, such as embezzlement, fraud, or burglary, may also be considered disqualifying offenses, especially if they are felonies.

Recent convictions are more likely to impact the application negatively than older ones, especially if the individual has shown rehabilitation.

In Illinois, Agent ID cards are specific to the employer and position.  So if an employee changes positions or employers, they will likely have to submit to the process again.

Training: Roles that require a Dispensing Organization Agent ID Card, like budtender, also require new agents to complete Illinois’ Responsible Vendor Training within a short time of beginning their employment.  Again, you can count on the company’s HR department to direct you.

PLEASE NOTE: Agent ID cards are not required to work for an ancillary firm in Illinois’ cannabis industry, so long as that company does not grow, process, or sell cannabis or cannabis products.

DISCLAIMER: State cannabis policies are always subject to change.  While this information was accurate, when published/updated, we strongly encourage visiting the Illinois Division of Cannabis Regulation (IDCR) website to guarantee the most up-to-date information.  While we do our best to keep this page current, we make no warranty that it is, seeing as regulators can make changes at any time.

Who are some of the top cannabis industry employers in Illinois?

Top Cannabis Employers

While it would be nearly impossible to detail every cannabis industry employer in Illinois, here is a list of some of the largest and best-known companies and brands with significant operations in the state.

We urge you to keep in mind that for every company listed here there are MANY other excellent cannabis industry employers that offer exciting career opportunities.    These are just the tip of the iceberg.

Green Thumb Industries (GTI)
A major player in the US cannabis industry, Green Thumb Industries is a vertically integrated cannabis company based in Chicago.  It is best known in Illinois for its Rise Dispensary chain, which operates many locations across the state, offering a wide range of cannabis products.

Cresco Labs
Headquartered in Chicago, Cresco Labs is a leading cannabis company that operates the Sunnyside dispensary chain. It also owns cannabis brands like High Supply and FloraCal Farms, known for their quality cannabis products.

Curaleaf is a large, vertically integrated cannabis company that operates numerous dispensaries across Illinois. It owns the cannabis brand GRASSROOTS, which offers a variety of cannabis products tailored to both recreational and medical users.

Ascend Wellness Holdings
Ascend Wellness Holdings operates many dispensaries in Illinois and is a significant player in the cannabis market. They own the popular Ozone cannabis brand, which includes a range of products from flowers to edibles.

Verano Holdings
Chicago-based, Verano Holdings owns and operates the Zen Leaf dispensary chain, which provides a comprehensive selection of cannabis products across Illinois.

Ivy Hall
Ivy Hall, founded and headquartered in Illinois, operates multiple dispensaries throughout the state, offering an extensive range of cannabis products tailored to diverse consumer needs.

Chicago-based PharmaCann owns the Verilife dispensary chain in Illinois and manages cultivation and processing operations within the state, focusing on the production of high-quality cannabis.

Based in Illinois, NuEra operates several dispensaries in the state, providing a wide variety of cannabis products from flowers to concentrates.

Acreage Holdings
Acreage Holdings is best known in Illinois for its popular brand The Botanist (by In Grown Farms). The company also has significant cultivation operations in the state.

Aeriz is a cannabis company founded and headquartered in Illinois, known for its cultivation and production of high-quality cannabis products.

A social equity cannabis company based in Illinois, Spark’d operates multiple dispensaries across the state. They focus on promoting diversity and inclusion within the cannabis industry.

Wana Brands
Wana Brands, now owned by TerrAscend, is a leading producer of cannabis-infused products, known for their gummies and other edibles that are popular in multiple states, including Illinois.

Foria specializes in cannabis wellness products designed to enhance intimacy and overall well-being, featuring a range of oils and topicals that emphasize natural ingredients and holistic benefits.

What types of jobs and career opportunities are there in the cannabis industry?

Careers in the Cannabis Industry

Cannabis industry career paths are quite diverse and span the following industry sectors and specialties:

Click Here to learn more about cannabis industry jobs.

Where can I find and apply for Illinois cannabis jobs near me?

Apply for cannabis jobs

If you have a lot of spare time and don’t mind researching and applying to individual cannabis jobs, one by one, you can find a searchable list of current cannabis industry job opportunities in Illinois HERE.

However, if you would prefer to apply just once and have Viridian Staffing’s expert cannabis recruiters match your skills and interests with cannabis jobs near you, we encourage you to register with us It only takes a few minutes!


Once registered, you can also submit your profile to any opportunity on our Cannabis Industry Job Board with a single click by logging into our Candidate Portal.

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