jobs Archives - Green Market Report

Debra BorchardtSeptember 19, 2022


As legalization marches forward in the tri-state area, so do the hopes for job creation. A new report from Cannabiz Team Worldwide outlined those aspirations and how much these new employees could cost. The report dives explicitly into New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut as the tri-state region in the Northeast.

The Leafly 2022 job report stated that the cannabis industry created 100,000 new jobs in 2021 or an increase of 33%. Cannabiz Media calculates that New York could add 63,000 jobs, New Jersey 29,400, and Connecticut could add 10,500.

New Jersey

New Jersey is the furthest along in its fully legal cannabis market and has issued 308 conditional licenses for new adult-use cannabis businesses. In addition to those, the state issued 130 for cultivators, 68 for manufacturers and 110 for retailers. It is estimated the market could hit $2 billion in annual revenue by 2026.

The top cities are Newark, Jersey City, Hoboken, Atlantic City, New Brunswick, Trenton, Morristown, Cherry Hill, and Princeton.

New York

The state is still a long way from recording its first adult-use sales. So far, New York has issued 223 adult-use cultivator licenses, 15 conditional processor licenses, and 150 conditional adult-use retail licenses. It is also projected to be one of the largest markets in the country and could reach $7 billion in sales. However, at this time, the program has no rules and regulations written and the illicit market is getting more and more entrenched.

The top cities are expected to be New York City, Syracuse, Buffalo, Rochester, Ithaca, Albany and Freeport.


It’s a smaller market than it neighbors with projected legal sales to eventually hit $750 million to $1.25 billion. The licensing process is underway with the first licenses expected to be rolled out in 2023. The top cities are Stamford, New Haven, Hartford, Bristol, Storrs and Greenwich.


The tri-state area is known for its high housing costs and that is trickling into the salaries as well. For example, top pay goes to the VP of Cultivation with a median pay of $246k, followed by the Chief Scientific Officer for testing with a median pay of $235k and the VP of Operations making $227k.

Trimmers are expected to be paid roughly $40,720, which is much higher than the $30,812 they get paid in California according to Zip Recruiter. Budtenders are more in line with California at roughly $41,500 a year.


Despite the rosy projections of the Cannabiz report, layoffs are happening with increasing frequency as the industry faces headwinds. Weedmaps (NASDAQ: MAPS) recently cut 10% of its workforce as did fellow tech companies Dutchie and Akerna (KERN).

In New York, Acreage Holdings laid off  122 at the end of 2020, and Canopy Growth closed some of its hemp growing operations in 2020 as well.

Julie AitchesonFebruary 23, 2022


The U.S. economy gained 467,000 jobs in January 2022 according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, which is down by 2.9 million since February 2020. In brighter news for cannabis, Leafly’s (NASDAQ: LFLY) sixth annual Cannabis Jobs Report (developed in partnership with Whitney Economics) reveals that the legal cannabis industry added 107,059 new jobs in 2021 and is poised to hold on to its distinction in 2022 as the most prolific job creator in America.  According to the report, as of January 2022 there are now 428,059 full-time equivalent jobs supported by the legal cannabis industry in the United States. This figure does not include employment in hemp, unregulated products made with hemp cannabinoids like delta-8 THC or “induced jobs”, aka jobs created by the wages paid to cannabis workers. 

The cannabis industry’s ranking as America’s number one job creator is not a new and surprising development. In fact, the industry has seen an annual job growth rate higher than 27% for five years running, with promising future gains as big adult-use markets in states like New Mexico and New York prepare to come online in the months to come. In comparison with the entire financial sector, which added 145,000 jobs last year, and construction, which has been seeing steady gains in states like Colorado and added 165,000 jobs coast-to-coast, the legal cannabis industry is indisputably the United States’ leading job-maker, particularly in California, where it provides 83,407 jobs, and Colorado, where it provides 38,337 to date.

Sales of cannabis products in adult-use and medically legal states are up more than $6 billion dollars from the previous year, necessitating more willing and skilled workers at every point on the development, production, and sales continuum. But the legal cannabis industry is not immune to the larger problem plaguing the economy right now, which is the difficulty of finding and attracting sufficient workers to fill those jobs. In 2021, the legal cannabis industry created more than 280 new jobs every day, but employers across sectors are struggling to staff their businesses, particularly in the hourly wage jobs. Job growth and employment rates are not syncing up in predictable ways, even for the bullish cannabis industry.

Cannabis job growth rates, while expected to remain robust, will falter somewhat in 2022 according to the Leafly and Whitney Economics’ forecast. Constricted medical schemes, state regulations, the growth of illicit markets and the slowing of more mature markets are all contributing factors to this likely deceleration. Still, studies have allowed researchers to identify and predict market trends and patterns, including the surge of growth that typically occurs two to five years after the opening of a state’s adult-use stores. This currently includes Massachusetts, Illinois, and Michigan, while Arizona’s recreational market, for example, is still in its infancy and can be expected to post higher numbers in a year or more. 

Overall, the Leafly’s report paints a rosy picture for cannabis jobs in the U.S., if less evenly so in the coming year. Whether hiring rates are able to keep pace with the demand for workers, however, remains an open question across every sector of the U.S. economy.

Tee CorleyOctober 19, 2021


In spite of, or perhaps in light of, the COVID-19 pandemic, we’re seeing the “new normal” still work itself out, resulting in sweeping changes across every industry.

Agricultural workers strike for better pay and conditions. Hiring managers are at a loss for workers. The supply chain is grinding to a halt. As U.S. workers seek more interesting jobs with better pay in fields they favor, FlowerHire, a cannabis talent recruiting agency, is finding that the cannabis industry is filling that void.

The Factors Affecting Cannabis Job Growth in 2021 and 2022

Pre-pandemic, the West Coast reigned in the realm of cannabis reform, with Washington, Oregon, and of course, California, completely legalizing recreational use at the state level.

In the heat of COVID lockdowns and one of the most polarizing elections in U.S. history, Arizona, New Jersey, Montana and South Dakota legalized recreational use in 2020, and Florida reformed its medical marijuana laws.

Marijuana is medically legal in Pennsylvania, and a bill was introduced to legalize it recreationally on 28 September 2021.

And let’s not forget that marijuana became legal in Virginia on 1 July 2021. While the groundwork is still being laid for retail sales, they are currently expected to begin in 2024.

Like a reverse Manifest Destiny, U.S. citizens’ demand for marijuana law reform is making its way to the East Coast, and so are its jobs.

What Does the Data Say?

FlowerHire, a recruiting agency that pairs talent with jobs in the cannabis industry, has some data to share which promises hope for cannabis jobs in 2022.

Founded in 2017, FlowerHire offers job recruiting and retaining services for hemp companies and their employees, plus an AI-driven software called FlowerHire X™ to help them optimize their team. As a result, FlowerHire has unique access to data across the cannabis market. The agency released a report in October 2021 outlining the current state and future outlook of leadership jobs in the cannabis industry.

In short: look out East Coast! It’s a veritable Green Rush. Opportunity is out east as FlowerHire asserts that 80% of new job demand is outside of California, and 68% of people FlowerHire has paced in 2021 have been east of the Mississippi, up from 50% in 2020. If you have experience in management and leadership positions, Florida, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, and Michigan want you. FlowerHire has based this data on six-figure cannabis jobs with an average salary of $140,000 per year.

So where can you go to find these high-paying careers in cannabis?

According to FlowerHire CEO David Belsky, “Cannabis job growth in Florida came out of nowhere.” Job growth in Florida quite literally went from 0.0% to 7.5% from 2020 to 2021, with the recruiting agency citing Florida-based brands Curaleaf, Trulieve, and Liberty Health as the top hirers.

Pennsylvania, too, saw massive growth, going from 1.1% of FlowerHire’s job placements in 2020 to 8.5% in 2021.

Meanwhile, Massachusetts and Michigan are holding on strong to moderate pieces of the hiring pie. Belsky reports that job creation in these states is happening across all stages of the chain, from cultivation to warehousing to retail.

What Does This Mean for Cannabis Jobs in 2022?

If you’re on the hunt for a job in cannabis, you’re no longer required to uproot your life and set off for sunny (and expensive) California.

Belsky agrees. “This [data] shows that legalization is spreading nationwide and gaining traction leading to more emerging cannabis job markets.”

Indeed, overall investment in cannabis continues to rise as new states come on board. And it’s not just in recreational markets. Leadership positions in medical markets on rising fast, lending credence to what most of us already know: there are medical benefits to cannabis.

Debra BorchardtFebruary 2, 2021


Cannabis employment company Vangst recently released its new “Cannabis Industry Salary Guide” and while some news is encouraging, there is still a long way to go for cannabis companies. On a positive note, job creation is increasing, and more women are employed by cannabis companies. Unfortunately, entry-level jobs don’t pay much more fast food gigs and the employees are overwhelmingly white.

The Good News

Vangst projects that 26,241 new cannabis jobs will be added by 2025. The company bases this projection on the five newly legalized states: Arizona, New Jersey, Mississippi, Montana, and South Dakota.

State Arizona New Jersey Mississippi Montana South Dakota
2019 Cannabis Jobs 15,059 2,356 0 1,800 0
Projected 2025 cannabis jobs 16,037 21,393 1,509 2,552 2,965
Increase +978 +19,037 +1,509 +1.752 +2,965

Figures provided by Vangst

Vangst said that maturing markets are seeing a shift in hiring trends as companies adapt to a new pandemic environment. Many companies had to cut back on its employees as COVID disrupted the retail and office environments. Companies also had to move towards more digital options and increase delivery capabilities. Vangst said industry hiring is now returning to pre-pandemic levels.

The report noted it has seen an uptick in companies posting production-related careers resulting in more manufacturing, cultivation, production and supply chain jobs. Sales and marketing jobs have rebounded from the early pandemic cutbacks and maturing companies are adding to HR and finance teams.

Vangst also noted in its report that cannabis companies are beginning to seek out people with past cannabis experience. It had been the trend for cannabis companies to want to hire people from outside industries. The strategy was that the outsiders would bring expertise from other industries and apply it to cannabis. However, this strategy hasn’t always been successful and now it seems cannabis experience is getting more respect.

Karson Humiston, founder, and CEO of Vangst said, “On the executive side, we sort of saw a rush for executives in early 2019. Now, we saw a lot of executives being laid off. I mean because it’s kind of unrealistic for MSO’s to think they’re going to get the CMO from Coca-Cola and that’s what people were trying, you know? Now we’re seeing much stronger demand for mid-level management, more so than the executive level role. Cannabis businesses need people that can actually roll up their sleeves and execute. That’s not a CMO from Pepsi, right? The CMO from Pepsi hasn’t day-to-day managed people in 20 years.

Vangst lists the following jobs that are most in demand:

  • Cultivation Technicians
  • Trimmers/Packagers
  • Budtenders
  • Directors of Cultivation
  • Delivery Drivers and Logistic Coordinators
  • Sales Reps
  • Digital Marketing & e-Commerce
  • Administrative and Corporate Roles
  • Lab Managers
  • Directors of HR

The Not So Good News

Salaries for entry-level cannabis jobs don’t pay much more than a fast-food worker. While trimmers are listed as one of the top jobs in demand, the reality is that these jobs only pay between $14.50-$16.00 an hour. Budtenders are the most important customer-facing job in a dispensary. These employees help customers choose a purchase and often work to upsell a customer. They are expected to have a great deal of knowledge about the product for adult-use cannabis and sometimes even medical marijuana. Yet, these positions only pay between $14.50-$17.00 an hour. The lowest pay is in Florida, where budtenders average $12.50 an hour. California pays $16.50, making it the highest paid.

Humiston said, “I hear in some of these states a budtender is making less than $13 an hour. If that budtender worked a $13 an hour job, 40 hours a week … and if they worked 50 weeks a year, they would still be below the poverty line. That just doesn’t add up to me. But what I will say is that I think there’s definitely room for companies to pay their employees more. If you compare this to light industrial or service industries, it’s kind of inline. I don’t think it’s just a cannabis industry problem.

Social Equity seems to be more talk than action. 44% say their companies don’t participate in any social equity programs and 86% have not been social equity candidates. When it comes to diversity hiring, 46% say the company has a plan, but 35% say their company has no diversity hiring plan. When looking at who has been hired Vangst found that over 60% are white, followed by roughly 10% that are Latinx and even fewer as Black. On a positive note, 41% of the cannabis professionals are listed as female-identifying versus 51% as male-identifying.

Who’s Benefiting?

One area where cannabis companies are excelling is benefits. The Vangst report found that as job openings increase, benefits coverage has expanded as well. 57.8% of cannabis workers said that their benefits were equal to or better than the industry they left. The Vangst report showed that medical insurance coverage increased by 3.5%, paid time off increased by 4.9%, and that 90% of all surveyed cannabis companies offered some form of benefits.

Even better than insurance and paid time off, 29% of the companies were offering 401(k) plans and 27% offered equity ownership plans. 52% of the companies said they even offered 401(k) matching plans. That’s becoming rarer in traditional industries.  Cannabis companies are also sweetening the deal with creative perks. Life insurance and pet insurance are beginning to crop up in job offers. Even cell phone allowances are a perk that is on the rise.

While cannabis may not be recession-proof, hiring certainly seems to be on the upswing again. Many states had looked to legalization as a way to create jobs and then those jobs began to disappear as capital dried up. That made the cannabis promise of jobs look like an empty one, but as hiring seems to have returned, the industry is looking like a savior once again.

Humiston added, “Four years ago if I said, you know, we could get a regional manager overseeing a few dispensaries to make 150 grand. Everyone would have totally laughed. Now, that’s standard. I think it will continue going up. I really do.”

StaffJanuary 5, 2021


Leave it to the ladies to get the job done. While there has been a lot of discussion about social equity and hang wringing over the best ways to create opportunity, the non-profit organization Supernova has just rolled up its sleeves and gotten busy. Supernova Women will be one of the first organizations to recruit, train and facilitate the employment of
workers from the nation’s first Cannabis Workforce Development Grant Program launched in the City of Oakland this past November.

The $1 Million initiative — the first of its kind — stems from a statewide California program that earmarked $20 Million specifically to support Equity programs, in a spirit of leveling the playing field to allow for equal representation of Black and Brown communities who were the most affected by the War on Drugs. The group said in a statement that 10 workers will be trained along two tracks: METRC management and cannabis manufacturing operations.

Whitney Beatty, Vice President of Supernova Women and a cannabis entrepreneur said, “The legal cannabis space is on a path to be more representative of the Black and Brown individuals who have been cultivating and producing cannabis medicine for decades. The legacy workers in weed deserve a fair shot to engage in this newly regulated industry.”

The state funding from the Bureau of Cannabis Control (BCC) and the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (Go-Biz) provides remuneration of $20 per hour for training and on-the-job experience. The newly minted professionals will then be paired with an Equity cannabis business based on organizational needs, fit, and skill. Historically, workforce development programs focus on people (instead of businesses), consider barriers of entry for the region, and are created with the intention of matching workers’ skills to the needs in an industry.

The idea is that as skill levels increase, communities can better compete with upwardly-mobile jobs. Given that there were 1,181 felony marijuana arrests in California in 2019, where 41.7% were Hispanic and 22.3% were Black, the quest for equitable engagement in legal cannabis is still ongoing.

Beatty added, “We have been in talks with the City of Oakland for several years about this program. It aims to address skill gaps and ensure seamless skills acquisition for meaningful and
sustainable engagement in the legal cannabis industry by those who are most negatively affected by the War on Drugs. This is a big win.”

Other businesses cited as a resource for this program include:

The Hood Incubator
The Hood Incubator builds a movement to leverage the legal cannabis industry as a model for healing and equity. We empower Black community members to thrive as workers, owners, and investors in the growing legal cannabis economy. Our workforce development offerings consist of recruitment, staffing, and training. We specialize in supporting businesses in their training needs for compliance and manufacturing although we can help build customized training programs for all cannabis permits.

Point of Contact: Lanese Martin, Co-Executive Director

West Oakland Job Resource Center
The West Oakland Job Resource Center provides a unique set of services that includes an assessment; employer referral, local hire monitor/compliance, pre-and post-employment
services, and is a model that complements the existing network of services and training programs in Oakland.

Point of contact: Joyce Guy – Director

Julie AitchesonMay 22, 2020


Leafly, the largest cannabis website in the world, issued its fourth annual Cannabis Industry Jobs Report in February, roughly a month before the outbreak of Covid-19 was officially declared a global pandemic by the World Health Organization. Leafly’s report revealed that America remains the legal cannabis industry’s biggest employer despite a downturn related to “a slow-growing Canadian market, shrinking investment capital, a national vaping health crisis, and layoffs at some of the industry’s leading brands.”

The future still looked bright for jobs in the legal cannabis industry, designated by Leafly’s report as the fastest-growing job sector in the United States as of early February 2020. But now that the Covid-19 pandemic has detonated an economic bomb across the globe, the future of cannabis employment may look decidedly different.

In an April article for legal website FindLaw by staff writer Bridget Molitor, JD articulates the various jobs that the legal cannabis industry offers. These jobs include roles in growing, producing, manufacturing, and sales, but given persistent concerns about the perils of working in close proximity to others, the cannabis industry will need to pivot a greater proportion of its workforce towards more autonomous models for its job market to remain viable.

Work-from-home cannabis careers were out there before Covid-19 crashed the economy, and by the looks of listings on popular job search websites like Monster and Indeed (not to mention industry-specific sites like Vangst, 420 Careers and, opportunities to work from home are more abundant than ever. Remote sales, online support, brand ambassadors, content writers, and web designers are in high demand. 

For those willing and able to venture out in states like California and Colorado, which declared both medical and recreational marijuana dispensaries “essential businesses” during the lockdown, jobs as cannabis delivery drivers are also on the rise. In April, reporter Luke Winkie followed up on an earlier story for The Goods, which publishes market-oriented content for Vox. Winkie checked back in with an L.A. area cannabis delivery driver who he interviewed in a previous article. The driver confirmed that business had “never been better” due to panic buying and the “stay-at-home” order. 

It may be a long time before the 6 feet social distancing rule becomes a thing of the past. Until then, retail establishments need to find ways to maintain sales volume without endangering customers. While this will mean there could be fewer employees on the sales floors, it also means a surging need for workers to process and package online and phone orders for mail, vehicle delivery, and curbside pick-up. 

The legal marijuana industry sustained multiple hits to its profit margin in 2019, and still managed to maintain its status as a dominant sector of the U.S. jobs market. With that crucial advantage, and if the ubiquity of remote cannabis-related jobs crowding the job boards is any indication, the industry may be poised to weather the economic crisis better than most.

StaffApril 23, 2020


Editors Note: This is a guest post.

The expansion of the cannabis industry is parallel with the increased public awareness of the marvelous benefits of cannabis for our health and wellbeing. New and current companies in the cannabis industry are constantly looking for new additions to their teams. There’s more to hiring people than reading a few resumes and choosing which one suits your company the most. Read our human resource tips and tricks that will help businesses in the cannabis industry find ideal additions to their teams. 

Know what you want

Even though it seems like such obvious advice this is where people make most mistakes. When it comes to hiring people, most businesses aim to just fill that void in the team. It’s needless to mention this can lead to a disaster. To surround yourself with a great team that will only contribute to the expansion of your cannabis business, it is necessary to know what kind of person would fit in the best. 

Keep in mind that the earliest stages of the hiring process are crucial. It’s important to ensure that everyone involved in hiring new additions to the team knows what is expected of an open position and candidates that apply. You need to set goals and communicate them with other team members clearly. 

Before you even post the job ad, it’s vital to identify what you’re looking for in a new employee or what that person can or should bring to the table. Unclear goals lead to vague job descriptions, misunderstandings, and more stress as the whole process keeps dragging. 

Create a training plan

The cannabis industry is like no other primarily because of law-related complexities. Since cannabis has a lot of complicated regulations and every company has to adhere to them, all employees need to know absolutely everything about it. If team members don’t understand the regulations it indicates the company doesn’t comply with the law and closure of the business could ensue. Therefore, when hiring people into your company it’s useful to create a training plan through which they will need to go so they can understand how regulations work. It’s also useful to mention the training plan in the job description because those who don’t want the training won’t apply. Otherwise, you could risk hiring someone who would find training tiresome and wouldn’t be dedicated to learning this important subject.

Besides regulations, you may also create a training plan in case you’re hiring people who have no experience in the cannabis industry but would like to try. The training could help them learn about different strains, benefits, and basically everything they need to know about cannabis. Go one step further and teach them about the best THC detox kit and offer tips they should know.

Publish concise job descriptions

A person who reads a job post needs to understand immediately what is expected of them should they apply and start working for your cannabis company. For that purpose, job descriptions should be concise and specific. Don’t strive to make the description as long as possible; it can be short and still deliver all the info they need to know. Specify whether you are looking for someone who’s got experience with the cannabis industry or other people can also apply. Read the job description several times before you publish it. That way you’ll avoid those awkward scenarios where you forget to mention something only for people to find out they have more tasks later on. Bearing in mind that human resources and hiring are challenging tasks you may also want to try out HR management software

Verify employee eligibility

If your cannabis business is located in the United States you need to bear in mind that Federal law requires all new employees to fill out the form called I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification. The main objective of this form is to help companies ensure the identity of their employees and authorization to work in the United States. Why is this important? Federally audited companies that neglect employee verification could face consequences and that’s the last thing you’d want.  

Hire the best

A common misconception about cannabis industry companies is that they are just as laidback as people who use marijuana. That’s not true! Although you may be compelled to hire your best friend, cousin, or even a sibling, you need to keep in mind that’s not the wisest decision. Always hire the best candidate, a person with the best qualifications and you’ll see improvements in the business overall. 


The cannabis industry is witnessing outstanding expansion which means competitiveness is getting tighter than ever. Finding the perfect team members isn’t the most difficult task, but you do need to be careful. The most important thing is to know what you want and express it precisely in job descriptions. Hire the best candidate and ensure they go through the training so that your business can comply with law and regulations. 

Mary Walton is a professional editor, content strategist and a part of MarijuanaDetox team. Apart from writing, Mary is passionate about hiking and gaming. Feel free to contact her via Facebook.


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