There has never been a better time to be alive. The economy is in a bull market, and one by one states are legalizing marijuana on both a medical and recreational level. Taking the industry off the black market, and into the hands of taxpaying citizens, modern cannabis pioneers are creating a thriving industry that is providing good jobs to good people.
What Does the Data Show?
A report on growth in the marijuana industry by New Frontier Data projects that there could be 283,000 new jobs created by 2020. Thanks to marijuana sales taking off, and new states legal cannabis programs going online, the total market is expected to be worth $24 billion by 2025.
These numbers show just how big of an economic force the marijuana industry is becoming. All of this in the face of an administration that hasn’t taken the friendliest stance on legal marijuana.
Don’t want to wait until 2025? Thanks to a study on the industry in 2016 by Marijuana Business Daily, we know there is already an estimated 100,000-150,000 jobs. For an industry that has only been legal since 2009, these numbers are impressive.
Where are the Cannabis Jobs?
Because the legal use of cannabis is fragmented across the United States, not everyone can get a job in the cannabis industry without making a move to a legal state. So, which state is going to give you the most opportunity?
The Federal Government doesn’t allow the tracking of cannabis jobs with NAICS Codes, which is the standard employment data in the US, but we can do a quick and dirty experiment to determine the state of the marijuana industry.
To find out where the jobs are I went to Indeed.com, which is often considered the number one job board. There I ran two different searches to see which states held the most available jobs, and here are the results as of December 2017:
Search: Cannabis Jobs
California – 219 jobs
Colorado – 104 jobs
Oregon – 28 jobs
Nevada – 15 jobs
Washington – 29 jobs
Massachusetts – 6 jobs
Search: Marijuana Jobs
California – 120 jobs
Colorado – 367 jobs
Oregon – 176 jobs
Nevada – 26 jobs
Washington – 164 jobs
Massachusetts – 17 jobs
These results are just a single sample, from a single source. However, it shows that you’ll have a better chance at a job if you move to a more established market. And as new markets such as California’s recreational and Ohio’s medical markets come online these numbers will evolve.
Attracting Top Talent
Most of the jobs will be made up of entry-level positions. These are jobs like bud trimmer that start around $8-12 an hour, and budtender which starts around $14. As the marijuana industry matures, the market demand is going to be a driving force behind the types of jobs created. Studies are also showing that the cannabis industry is providing great job opportunities for women and minorities.
For instance, the legal market has created a wax boom. Cannabis consumers can’t get enough of their concentrates. These concentrates are made by extracting THC and CBD from cannabis to make oils, wax and shatter. To land one of these jobs you’ll be required to have a Ph.D. in biochemistry and have a background in engineering, but you can expect to make upwards of $250,000 per year.
You’ll also need to get a college degree if you want to become a master grower. With most employers looking for people that have degrees in botany, pharmacology or chemistry.
How to Get a Cannabis Job
Whether you’re looking to get a job at a dispensary or in a greenhouse, you won’t find a shortage of jobs. If you want to get hired in the cannabis industry, there are people out there that want to help. Recruiters, job boards and job fairs are in constant competition for the best talent. Just make sure to have any licenses your state requires before applying.
Nowhere to Go but Up
The industry is getting smarter and more stable. Now that cannabis companies are starting to see serious investments, even more money is going to find it’s way into the hands of cannabis entrepreneurs. Creating more growth, more jobs and a better way of life for the states that are taking part in the green rush.