Business & Legal

How Foreigners Can Legally Work in the US Cannabis Industry

Dianelle Bresler
Written by Dianelle Bresler

In 2018, California became the largest US State to legalize recreational Cannabis. Companies have created substantial number of employment opportunities, especially for foreign workers who want to join this exciting industry and come to a new country.To fulfill this dream, foreigners need to apply for a certain work visa before legally getting a head start in the world of cannabis.

If you are looking to get into the legal cannabis market:

  1. Look for recreational Cannabis companies who are hiring.
  2. Apply by sending in your Resumé and a detailed Cover Letter explicitly stating where you are coming from and why you would like to work in this industry.
  3. Follow-up on your email and interview with a manager, explaining why you want to work specifically for this company.

Which visa do you need and how do you apply?

H2-B for qualified workers. These visas are not for agricultural jobs such as field work. To apply, go to and fill out the necessary forms. Next, you apply for the position you are looking for. If you are selected, the company must send a formal letter of work agreement stating why the position cannot be filled by a US worker. Once the employer has sent the invitation, then you may apply for the visa.

Annually, the United States grants 66,000 H2-B visas, with an additional 15,000 permitted to be issued this year. As of this point in 2018, the quota has not filled up, and foreigners are welcome to apply.

This visa lasts for one year if granted, with the possibility of applying for two extensions for the same amount of time. When the visa expires, the applicant is required to leave the United States.

How does it work?

The H2-B is available for people inside or outside the United States. USCIS states that the applicant must send in a letter to renew the extension. Married persons immigrating to the United States are allowed to bring their significant other and any children under 21 with them. The children and spouse will receive the H4 visa, meaning they can legally live in the United Sates but do not have permission to work (2).

History of the H2 visa.

The H2-B Visa was created in 1943, during the height of World War II, when there was a shortage of workers for the sugar cane fields. The visa granted access for workers to cross into the United States and fill the gaps. In the 1980s, the program changed and divided the H2 visa into two forms: H2-A for agricultural workers, and H2-B for non-agriculturallabor such as telemarketing, gardening, construction, scientific research, and more.

To learn more information about the visas and which you quality for, please visit:



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Dianelle Bresler

Dianelle Bresler

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