Over the last decade, the United States has experienced a massive societal shift in regards to cannabis. A drug that was once deemed dangerous in pop culture and politics is now legal in many states. Some have recreational cannabis, others medical, and others with much room for improvement. The rapid incline of popularity and usage also invites further jobs in the marijuana industry.
Standing on the customer side of things, it’s easy to overlook the hard work and manual labor that go into marijuana sales and distribution. The marijuana industry is booming right now, as states continue to legalize—and readers like you may want a piece of the multi-billion dollar pie. You know you’re curious for a sneek peek into the business that took the world by storm.
How Much Is the Marijuana Industry Worth?
According to the Marijuana Business Factbook, the marijuana industry ranged between $20 billion and $23 billion in 2017. That number could rise to $77 billion by 2022. Mind you, we’re strictly discussing legal weed sales from dispensaries and seed banks. Who knows how much extra cash is coming in through illegal sales. Cannabis still has a lot of “under the table” action in states where it’s not yet legal.
Is The Marijuana Industry Hiring?
The marijuana industry is always hiring. Not only is the industry worth more than the GDP of nine States, including Alaska, North Dakota, and Delaware, but it’s also not showing any signs of slowing down. Now would be the perfect time to send your resume to a business. In fact, the weed industry hires more people than the coal industry. New Frontier Data calculated at least 250,000 people who work with cannabis—and that’s just employees who handle the actual plants. That number does not include employees in marketing, sales, distribution, and so on. Employee count could rise to 330,000 by 2022.
How Much Do Employees Make?
We can’t break this down to an exact number, as there are too many variables—location, job title, salary vs. hourly, etc. However, Glassdoor estimates that the salary of cannabis employees is 10% higher than the median US salary. “The median salary was $58,511 in 2018, while the median salary for US workers as a whole was $52,863. That’s a difference of 10.7%.”
Job Titles In The Cannabis Industry
How does one get into the cannabis industry, exactly? The process is practically the same as any other job. Firstly, you’ll need to narrow down what title sounds the most fitting for you. There are about 10 main job titles in the marijuana industry.
Website/Social Media Manager
Based on your skills, personal preference, and employment history, you should be able to settle into one of these positions. You can start by finding a dispensary, seed bank, or another marijuana business in your area. Mind you, location is a primary factor in cannabis-related employment. Residents in California, for example, or any state with legal cannabis, have more opportunities than locals in Indiana.
What About the CBD Industry?
While the cannabis and CBD industries often go hand-in-hand, some companies exclusively specialize in the sales of CBD-based products without any THC (the psychoactive chemical compound found in matured cannabis plants). The CBD industry alone was valued at USD 3,088 million in 2018, according to MedGadget, and it’s estimated to grow to 2,207,162 million by 2026. The CBD industry lands in the millions while cannabis, as a whole, reaches into the billions.
The Future of the Marijuana Industry
As Bob Dylan once said, the times are a-changin’. Disruptor Daily spoke to 29 professionals in the cannabis industry to see what the future has in store. Kraig Fox, President and CEO of High Times, predicts that we’ll see countless brands come out. “There is not a single consumer-facing industry whose economics are not directly tied to brands, and the cannabis market will be no different.”
Nick Levich, Co-Founder of Key to Cannabis, and Kim Rael, President and CEO of Azuca, agreed that CBD is taking over for its medical benefits. Not everyone has a need for cannabis’ psychoactive effects, but surely they can find a reason for CBD use. Research shows that CBD can help alleviate anxiety, chronic stress, inflammation, pain, and so on. Users can also apply it topically as a moisturizer for hair and skin.
Then we have Serge Chistov, Financial Partner at Honest Marijuana Company, who is counting down the days until Amazon jumps on the cannabis trend. “The industry is maturing and American consumers now demand quality, innovation, ease of use…anything that has to do with buying your product from Amazon.” Oh, and just wait until the Northeast legalizes cannabis. There’s so much room for growth and expansion.
According to experts and researchers, we’ve only reached the tip of the iceberg in the marijuana industry. Legalization in Canada was a massive turning point and 2021 could be the year that weed becomes federally legal in the United States. What we’re trying to say is, you may really, really want to work in the weed industry with all this prosperity at your fingertips.