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William SumnerMarch 1, 2018
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4min47151

How do you get a job in the legal cannabis industry? That is the question asked by thousands of people every day hoping to break into the fledgling billion dollar industry, and it’s easy to see why. Cannabis has become legal, in some shape or form, in 29 US states and the District of Columbia and experts only expect that number to rise.

But with so many states to choose from, where do you go to find the best jobs in cannabis? To help that question, the online job search engine site ZipRecruiter recently published an overview of the cannabis job market, along with the Top 10 Cities for Cannabis Industry Jobs. Here’s what they found.

The State of Cannabis Employment

Overall, 2017 was a great year for cannabis employment. In the first quarter of 2017, approximately 345 job listings were added to the site, compared to just an average of just 200 per quarter in 2016. The number of job listings per quarter continued to increase throughout the year, peaking at 1548 new positions in the fourth quarter; which is due in part to the start of retail cannabis sales in California.

In the first quarter of 2018, 582 new positions were listed. Although that is a huge drop off from the previous quarter, it was still one of the best months for job growth in cannabis industry history.

Top 10 Cities for Cannabis Industry Jobs

In 2017, the top 10 cities for cannabis industry jobs were:

  1. Denver, CO
  2. Los Angeles, CA
  3. San Francisco, CA
  4. Seattle, WA
  5. Portland, OR
  6. Sacramento, CA
  7. Spokane, WA
  8. Miami, FL
  9. Chicago, IL
  10. Boston, MA

Unsurprisingly, eight of the top cities for cannabis jobs were in Colorado, Washington, Massachusetts, and California; states that have legalized recreational cannabis. Denver had the most, with 413 open positions, while Boston rounded out the bottom of the list with 67.

 

Top 10 Cities for Cannabis Industry Growth

But pure numbers aren’t everything, growth is important too. ZipRecruiter also took a look at the top 10 cities for cannabis industry growth. Here’s what they found:

  1. Spokane, WA
  2. Miami, FL
  3. Deltona, FL
  4. Baltimore, MD
  5. Dallas, TX
  6. Philadelphia, PA
  7. New York, NY
  8. Lincoln, NE
  9. Chicago, IL
  10. Pueblo, CO

Legal cannabis may be a hot commodity on the West Coast, but seemingly most of the industry’s growth is coming from the East Coast where states like Florida and New York have just begun to get their medical cannabis programs off the ground and look poised to legalize recreational cannabis in the coming years.

Regardless, with more states than ever before opening up to legal cannabis, the industry is set to experience explosive growth over the coming years; which means there is still more than enough room for those hoping to break into this burgeoning industry.


Debra BorchardtDecember 7, 2017
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9min41280

It seems everyone wants to work in the cannabis industry. Indeed.com found that in 2017, the interest in searching for cannabis jobs grew by 401% in the United States. In Canada, marijuana job searches grew by 320%, outpacing tech inquiries which only grew by 90%.

Chart provided by Indeed.com.

It isn’t only job seekers flocking to Indeed, cannabis employers have increased job postings by 251% since November 2015. No surprise, California is leading the pack with 33% of the cannabis job postings as the state ramps up for full legalization in January. Colorado is in second place with 15% of the job offerings, but 19% of the job seekers want those gigs causing a talent mismatch. In other words, demand is higher than supply.

Chart provided by Indeed.com.
Cannabis Jobs Are Growing

Karson Humiston, Founder of cannabis job recruiting firm Vangst Talent and the job board Vangsters said that at the beginning of the year there were 121,000 full-time employees in the cannabis industry and that number has now grown to 149,308. In 2016, she said the average salary was $47,620 and that has now jumped to $53,212.

“The highest paid positions we’re seeing right now are on the cultivation side,” said Humiston. ”A head grower can make $102,000 a year, plus a production-based bonus. If production goals are met, the employee can often get a 30% bonus.” She also noted that a new trend is that employers are willing to pay to relocate an employee to a newly legalized state. “Some cultivation employees feel that states like Colorado have a saturated job market and they prefer a new state where there are fewer people with such skills,” Humiston added. It’s more promising for one’s career to be the big fish in a little pond.

Another area that is in strong demand for cannabis companies is on the technology side. She noted that many people from Silicon Valley are shifting over to cannabis where the pay is becoming more in line with traditional tech companies. “We have 15 jobs to fill for Baker and 10 of them are tech jobs,” said Humiston. “We’re pulling from some well-known tech companies.”

Cannabis Jobs Pay Better

Cannabis tech company Duber Partners found that for each employee in the cannabis industry there are 275 cannabis consumers. The jobs in the cannabis industry are also looking more lucrative than traditional jobs. For example, Duber found that dispensary budtenders (employees that assist shoppers in making purchasing decisions) make $7,000 more than bartenders. Cannabis grow masters earn twice as much as traditional farmers earn and concentrate extraction tech workers make twice as much as chemistry teachers. Breaking Bad’s Walter White chose the wrong product.

If you don’t live in a legalized state, you probably have no idea what these jobs pay. PayScale reviewed cannabis industry data and determined a median income snapshot for emerging jobs in the industry.

Job Title Median Pay Median Weekly Tips
Medical Marijuana Grower $38,000 $0
Retail Store Manager (Cannabis) $44,000 $0
Budtender $28,300 $98
Operations Manager (Cannabis) $43,500 $0

Marcie Robins, the founder of Kushie Jobs noted that many companies in California are waiting for the rules and regulations to be made official before committing to new employees. “Job seekers are really excited to get going,” she said. Another area that is growing in demand is culinary cannabis arts. “One of our job seeker’s is actually a classically trained Chef out of the cordon blue in Florence Italy,” said Robins.

The Intersection Of Cannabis And Traditional Jobs

Neither Robins or Humiston had any concerns about competition from Indeed. Both said they use the service and feel it just gives more credibility to the industry.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics currently has no coding in place to track cannabis industry jobs, but a spokesman for the BLS said there is still a plan to do so. It was originally expected to be rolled out by the end of 2017, but that hasn’t happened yet as the department awaits approvals for the new jobs coding.

While many legalized states have focused on the tax revenues that marijuana brings, new jobs could be the bigger bonus. The new jobs cause a ripple effect, where the employees begin spending their new income and the local economy improves as a result. The industry is also drawing workers that are ready to leave the traditional workforce for something new and exciting.


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The Green Market Report focuses on the financial news of the rapidly growing cannabis industry. Our target approach filters out the daily noise and does a deep dive into the financial, business and economic side of the cannabis industry. Our team is cultivating the industry’s critical news into one source and providing open source insights and data analysis


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