Marijuana has skyrocketed into a billion-dollar industry: according to New Frontier Data, by 2020 cannabis will create more than a quarter of a million jobs. This equates to more than what is expected from the manufacturing industry or the government sector. In fact, these jobs are expected to take big hits, declining by over 800,000 and 400,000 respectively.
The fastest growing jobs are in healthcare, not surprising given the booming population and increase in lifespan. And it’s these same factors that make medical marijuana set to soar. Within the next three years, the medicinal industry is set to reach 13.3 billion, nearly tripling its 2016 figures. Recreational is set to jump too, going up from 2.6 billion to 11.2 billion.
The moral of the story: pot is so lucrative, it’s practically a pot of actual gold
While this is great news for people who own dispensaries (as well as the many people who benefit from using cannabis), it’s also good for people looking to break free of the proverbial cubicle and get a new leaf on life.
The Sativa Salaries
There are a variety of jobs available in the cannabis industry, from those at the top of the ladder to those on the very first rung. In Washington, and per the Seattle Times, bud trimmers make around fifteen dollars an hour. Not exceptional pay (or a thrilling job), but it’s a good way to get your foot in the door. With the cannabis industry brimming with competition, many people have to start wherever there’s room. Other jobs, such as gardeners and concentrate makers, earn much more, with those who excel nearing six figures.
Many management roles come with salaries well into those six figures
For anyone who’s unable to procure a direct cannabis job, there’s always those that are marijuana adjacent. Selling real estate to grow operations or potential shop owners, for instance, is a good way to be part of the industry even if you’re not in the middle of it.
The Future of Cannabis Careers
Jeff Session’s nomination as Attorney General gave pause to many pot advocates, leaving us to wonder if he’d play the Federal Card and begin interfering with state’s rights. While he hasn’t yet (too busy with Russian ambassadors, perhaps?), we don’t know what the future holds. But, assuming no major interference, the cannabis industry is set to continue its boom.
In Colorado, the industry already employs over 10,000 people (including around 1,200 who moved to the Centennial State specifically for jobs in marijuana)
Other recreational states continue their upswing as well. Then there are the states who haven’t yet legalized: give it time, they likely will (well, maybe not Utah).
However, in many of those areas where recreational weed remains illicit, medicinal weed is accepted: more states allow it than forbid it. And this, naturally, creates jobs too. The times, and dime bags, are a-changing.
In last year’s election alone, California, Nevada, Massachusetts, and Maine each legalized recreational weed while medical passed in Florida, Arkansas, Dakota, and Montana.
All of this has been great for entrepreneurs – people who began with one shop now own nine or ten. And people who started with a handful of employees now have a warehouse full.
There’s always a chance that this will level off – the whole supply and demand thing – but that doesn’t look to happen any time in the near future.
Even in Colorado, where recreational weed is now old hat, new jobs are on the horizon
Delivery and courier services, for example, may soon beckon. While there are some marijuana delivery services in Denver and the surrounding areas, they’re not really legal, but this could be changing.
Per KDVR, Colorado lawmakers are weighing a bill that would allow medical and recreational delivery to residential homes. The perks of this include reduced traffic in areas where dispensaries are located and availability for people whose medical conditions make it difficult for them to get out of bed, let alone leave their home and drive to a shop. The bill does have some exceptions, with no delivery allowed near schools, playgrounds, day care centers, or dorm rooms (sorry, college crowd). Essentially, it sticks to delivery in private homes and excludes hotels.
Cannabis Jobs That Continue to Grow
Marijuana marketing: With more people involved in the industry, the competition stiffens and the only way to stand out is to market yourself and your business. Agencies like Online Marijuana Design and Canna Brand are just two examples of Cannabis branding and marketing leaders.
Edible creator: Edibles aren’t only about sour gummies or brownies anymore: plainly, no sweet tooth is required. Pick a food, any food, and there’s probably someone, somewhere who has infused it with marijuana. Here, have some Agent Orange sherbet or some Blue Cheese balls.
Concentrate processor: Concentrate processors are high paying because of the skill required. It’s a job that comes with an inherent risk as well, so you must know what you’re doing.
But it has longevity: concentrates are very popular and, because they produce a faster, more potent high, they’re likely to stay in demand
In order to get this job, you typically need a background or a degree in chemistry. Having memorized every scene from Breaking Bad is nice too, but don’t put that on your resume.
Security: Though some pot shops get creative and allow their patrons to use credit cards, most are cash only. With that much money in-house, security isn’t a perk; it’s a necessity. Not only is it needed in the brawny sense – people with huge muscles who walk around eying everyone suspiciously – but also in the high-tech realm. Dispensaries are always looking for new technology that keeps their facility more secure.
Growers and farmers: Of course, the marijuana industry wouldn’t exist without good ol’ marijuana. And, for that, we need growers and farmers. Growing marijuana isn’t easy: it takes time, skill, and money, and all sorts of things – from regulatory interference to insect invasion – can go wrong.
For those who have a green thumb, it’s a lucrative endeavor
As mentioned above, cannabis is a difficult industry to break into: everyone wants a piece of the pot pie. If you’re willing to start at the bottom, you stand a good chance of making your way to the top. Don’t worry, you have time: the cannabis industry is just getting started.