Working in the cannabis industry is one of the most exciting things a person can do.
No other industry is as popular and desirable as the cannabis industry is right now from an employment perspective.
For many decades people could not pursue a career in the legal cannabis industry because a legal cannabis industry did not exist.
Now, with the spread of cannabis reform and the rise of the cannabis industry, opportunities for meaningful careers in the cannabis space are becoming more common.
That’s right. Jobs. Lots of jobs.
Cannabis industry workforce estimates are mind blowing
Marijuana Business Daily published statistics in 2017 that estimated how many jobs the legal cannabis industry has created.
The numbers are nothing short of astounding.
According to MJBiz’s research, the cannabis industry employs between 165,000 and 230,000 people either full-time or part-time.
To put that into perspective, we can compare it to another field: there are 169,000 massage therapists employed either full-time or part-time, according to the same report.
Most of the cannabis jobs are reported to be with small businesses, which makes sense in such a young industry.
And as the cannabis industry continues to grow, the sizes of the companies will grow too, and the workforce numbers will continue to climb.
What types of jobs exist in the cannabis industry?
The different career paths that exist in the cannabis industry are abundant because of the size of the cannabis industry.
Below are just some of the job niches that are out there:
- Store Manager
- Lab tester
- Graphic design
- Extraction technician
- Event organizer
- Delivery driver
- Social media account manager
- Project manager
Chances are if you can think of a job that is found in any other industry, it can also be found in the cannabis industry.
Because the cannabis industry is so complex, there is a lot of opportunity for workers of all backgrounds.
Estimated job growth is hard in such a new industry
The cannabis industry in principle is not a new thing. People have been acquiring cannabis in exchange for consideration for a very long time.
But the legal cannabis industry is still very young.
As such, it is hard to predict how many jobs the cannabis industry will create in the future.
The markets in California and Massachusetts alone are going to be enormous.
With both of these states in the mix, the size of the industry will increase exponentially.
Just last year Leafly released a report which put the cannabis industry at just under 123,000 full time jobs.
And we haven’t even mentioned Canada yet, which is building it’s new adult-use cannabis industry.
This time next year it’s anyone’s guess how many people the industry will employ, but it will undoubtedly be a mind-boggling number.
The need to create living wage jobs in the cannabis industry
The cannabis industry has an opportunity to do something that doesn’t come along very often in history.
It has the opportunity to create industry rules and norms that can help the world be a better place, in addition to generating large amounts of revenue.
If all the cannabis industry does is make a bunch of rich people richer while creating a bunch of low paying jobs for the vast majority of people that would be a shame.
Generations of activists, many of which are not with us anymore, did not protest, fight and deal with the stigma that they endured just to see greed take over the industry.
Fortunately, the cannabis industry is off to a good start, with most businesses paying their employees above minimum wage, maintaining a diverse workforce, and being good stewards of the plant.
The emerging cannabis industry has the future potential to employ hundreds of thousands, if not millions of people via direct or ancillary cannabis industry entities.
It is important that we do it right.
If you own a cannabis business, do your part to ensure that we are helping create a responsible industry, not just another industry.