It may not come as a surprise to many people that marijuana is the fastest-growing job market in America, especially with a growing acceptance of the plant as a recreational substance. Marijuana and hemp industries have expanded significantly providing job seekers with a range of well-paying occupations in cultivation, retail, extraction, and ancillary industries like accounting, marketing, and sales.
A Skyrocketing Industry
In 2018, cannabis companies added 64,389 jobs to the job sector, an increase of 44 percent from 2017. In 2019, the unexpected job growth kept rising. A special report by Leafly and Whitney Economics published in March 2019 found that more than 211,000 Americans made an honest living in the cannabis industry.
The marijuana industry, however, isn’t a self-sustaining operation. Ancillary suppliers and contractors grease the wheels of the job market to keep the operations compliant and legal. If ancillary jobs are counted with cannabis jobs for 2019, over 296,000 Americans held a job that directly or indirectly supported the industry.
Currently, marijuana is a Schedule I substance, which is illegal to consume and sell. Because of its federal status, cannabis jobs aren’t counted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics leaving the marijuana industry to estimate job numbers based on government reviews, sales, and trends.
States With Tremendous Job Growth
Cannabis consumers looking to find a job in the industry will have the best luck in states that have developed marijuana job markets. The first states to legalize marijuana like Colorado, Washington, Oregon, and California will have considerable job opportunities, but ultimately, job availability will depend on location, type of job, and experience level needed.
According to Leafly’s special report, Florida added the largest number of full-time marijuana jobs in 2018. Florida jobs grew rapidly to 10,358 in 2018, a considerable increase from 1,290 full-time jobs in 2017. The job growth was caused, in part, by a rapidly expanding patient base that went from 65,000 to 165,000 members in a year.
Pennsylvania also looks to be vying for a place as one of the leading cannabis job markets. Leafly’s report mentioned that the state had experienced the largest percent increase in registered marijuana patients. In 2017, only 90 individuals were employed full-time in Pennsylvania’s cannabis industry. In 2018, the number grew to 3,878.
Alaska’s job count grew fivefold in 2018 to 2,810. Maryland’s job count went up from 559 jobs to 2,624. Illinois and Minnesota doubled their job numbers. New York tripled theirs. Nevada and Oklahoma have also shown a consistent rise in cannabis workers. According to a Glassdoor report, these are the best metropolitan cities for job openings:
- San Francisco, CA
- Los Angeles, CA
- Denver, CO
- New York City, NY
- Seattle, WA
- Boston, MA
- Chicago, IL
- Miami-Fort Lauderdale, FL
- Riverside, CA
- Portland, OR
- San Jose, CA
- Sacramento, CA
- Las Vegas, NV
- San Diego, CA
- Santa Barbara, CA
Cannabis Job Opportunities
Cannabis job opportunities range from entry-level to C-level executive positions. For new entrants to the field, cannabis entry-level wages are higher compared to similar jobs in non-cannabis fields. Below are a few of the most in-demand cannabis jobs along with a salary estimate, albeit, salaries vary by experience level and location:
- Head Grower/Master Grower: The director of cultivation takes care of every aspect of planting and growing high-quality marijuana including potting, watering, and harvesting plants. The average salary is $88,000.
- Trimmer: A trimmer ensures the cannabis flower buds are ready for sale. Trimmers often spend long hours pruning buds for maximum bag appeal. The average salary is $12.50 an hour.
- Dispensary Manager: A retail manager is in charge of training staff, overseeing daily operations, and remaining compliant with state and local laws. The average salary is $56,250.
- Extraction Manager: Concentrates are a growing market. Extraction managers strip away the valuable compounds from the plant and produce a range of concentrate types including distillate oil for edibles or terp sauce for cannabis connoisseurs. The average salary is $72,000.
- Budtender: A budtender or retail associate is the point-of-contact for customers. Budtenders should be knowledgeable about cannabis, medicinal uses, products, dose, and consumption methods. The average salary is $13 an hour.
- Compliance Manager: Compliance is crucial to keeping a legal operation afloat. Compliance managers develop compliance protocols and stay up-to-date with regulation changes across municipalities. The average salary is $62,500.
Helping the Marijuana Market Grow
If you’re interested in joining the thousands of job seekers looking to get in on the ground floor of the cannabis industry, it’s important to be knowledgeable about the foundation of cannabis. Cannabis Training University educates students with the most renowned marijuana training program and prepares them with a wealth of courses including:
- How to Grow Marijuana
- Marijuana Cooking & Extractions
- Marijuana Laws & Regulations
- Marijuana Dispensary & Delivery Service Management
- Becoming a Budtender: Essential Skills Training
- Marijuana as Medicine
- Cannabis Jobs, Cannabis Resumes, and Cannabis Business Plans
Cannabis College Online
CTU has been preparing students for the competitive marijuana job market since 2009 and has become the world’s leading online marijuana school. A team of the most knowledgeable and passionate industry insiders prepared the comprehensive course and continually update offerings with the latest developments.
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