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 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.
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.