Booming Cannabis Industry to More Than Double Employment Within a Year

Booming Cannabis Industry to More Than Double Employment Within a Year


Legal marijuana is creating a vast number of new, well-paying jobs with no sign the growth will slow any time soon.


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For entrepreneurs or those looking to make a career move into a growing industry, cannabis continues to look like an attractive option.

It’s not just jobs at dispensaries or grow houses, either, although employment in these areas are strong. The marijuana industry has become so big that many new jobs do not “touch the plant.” They are the types of professional jobs that accumulate around every robust industry.

They include managers and directors, marketers, accountants, lawyers, security personnel and human resource workers. But what are the most in-demand positions? A new report sheds light on the issue.

Related: The Bright Future of Cannabis Retail

Staggering Numbers

Vangst, a California-based recruiting and job placement company that focuses on marijuana, recently projected growth in marijuana-related jobs of 220 percent in 2019. The company also reports the following about the marijuana job market.

  • There was 690 percent growth in marijuana industry job listings between Jan.1, 2017 and Aug. 1, 2018

  • The average salaries in marijuana increased 16.8 percent between 2017 and 2018

  • The most hired positions in the cannabis industry are director of extraction, director of cultivation, compliance manager, dispensary manager, outside sales representatives, budtenders and trimmers.

The company compiled the information using data from 1,200 employers in the marijuana industry.

Related: This South Pacific Country Is Sponsoring Research Seeking a Cannabis Treatment for Diabetes

Popular Jobs

Of the popular jobs, one of the most important and demanding is compliance manager. People in this role must ensure that a marijuana business complies with the hodgepodge of local and state laws. They also must monitor any changes with the federal government, which still classifies marijuana as illegal.

Those in this position also create tracking systems from “seed to sale” that comply with government regulations.

Finance also is a complicated issue and related to compliance. Those in accounting and finance must deal with a system that still denies most marijuana businesses any type of banking services. That’s because banks are concerned they will be penalized or even charged with committing a criminal act by supplying services to an industry that is illegal at the federal level.

Vangst also provided salary information from its database for the top jobs. The average salary for those positions were:

  • Director of extraction ($72,000)

  • Director of cultivation ($88,000)

  • Compliance manager ($62,500)

  • Dispensary store manager ($56,250)

  • Outside sales representative ($58,800)

  • Budtender ($13.25 per hour)

  • Trimmer ($12.25 per hour)

The market for marijuana industry jobs continues to grow. Medical marijuana is legal in 30 states. Another nine states have approved recreational marijuana use: Alaska, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, Oregon, Vermont and Washington, as well as the District of Columbia.

About 207 million Americans live in these states, a majority of the total U.S. population, according to research from Politifact.

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