Business is booming in the cannabis industry, and the number of open jobs in the cannabis industry is steadily climbing as more states move closer toward legalization. Marijuana is legal for medical purposes in 38 states across the United States, while nineteen states and the District of Columbia have legalized marijuana for recreational use. Dispensaries are continuing to pop up in cities across the United States, and food, beverage, and wellness brands are pushing to incorporate THC and CBD into new products.
This “green rush” evidently shows no signs of slowing down. Over the past two years, during the Covid-19 pandemic, businesses within the cannabis industry experienced a 75 percent increase in employment, according to Forbes. Specifically, there was a 25 percent increase in full-time employees in the cannabis industry, bringing the total number of workers in cannabis to more than 400,000.
During the Great Resignation — a period of time that terrified and choked many industries — the cannabis industry flourished. In fact, the phenomenon seemed to steer new, eager, strong talent into the cannabis sector, which helped it grow during the uncertain time.
With all of this growth, listings for jobs in the cannabis industry have increased significantly in the United States, and projections show that it will continue to increase. Want even better news? As the industry continues to grow, cannabis job salaries will also grow with it. Of course, it’s important to consider factors such as experience and region when looking at salaries in any industry. All things considered, across the board, the average salary for a cannabis industry job is projected to increase over time as the industry continues to grow and develop. While wages can definitely vary based on specific employee qualifications, experience, and company funding, positions in the cannabis industry can provide people with comfortable salaries and opportunities for advancement in a new and innovative industry.
Benefits are important to consider, as well, but of course, those range from company to company. Nearly 75 percent of employers at cannabis industry companies offered time off for their workers while 71 percent have medical benefits, according to a survey that Forbes cited. More than half of the companies that were surveyed provided their employees with paid time off, medical, dental, and vision insurance. And when it comes to saving up for retirement, more than one-third of the companies that were surveyed provided their employees with 401K options. Of course, working remotely is important to consider, too, as it is a huge factor in the modern workplace. More than 30 percent of the surveyed companies provided remote work schedule options, and long or short-term disability support was also provided by those companies.
While discussing salaries in the growing cannabis industry, you might be asking yourself — but where should I work? Cannabis markets are predicted to expand in states across the U.S. including New York, Virginia, Connecticut, and New Mexico, which are expected to add more than 100,000 total jobs to the market. There will also be an increased demand for seasonal employment, Forbes noted, with an estimated 50,000 temporary positions in the cannabis industry in 2022 alone.
Right now, in the United States, less than 20 percent of legal cannabis business owners and founders are minorities — a number that is dismal, but things are looking up slightly. Businesses in the cannabis industry are hiring a more diverse and inclusive workforce, as well. In addition, social equity policies are projected to shape diversity in the legal cannabis industry, according to Forbes. Legal cannabis is projected to meet more than 40 percent of demand in the United States by 2025, which would provide more opportunities for growth and diverse hiring practices.
Explore more information about salaries in the rapidly growing cannabis industry below.
1. Director of Cultivation Salary: $88,000
The Director of Cultivation is primarily responsible for focusing on managing the cannabis growing operations and establishing standard operating procedures for the company. This is necessary in order to produce healthy, potent cannabis plants. The Director of Cultivation is in charge of pest control, monitoring the nutrient content in the soil, and implementing the growing schedule. They are also responsible for hiring and training the company’s new employees and ensuring that the company is complying with all state and local regulations. Salaries for this role generally start around $47,000 per year, while highly qualified directors can earn more than $250,000 annually.
2. Director of Extraction Salary: $72,000
The Director of Extraction oversees all aspects of cannabis extraction and refinement, from designing extraction facilities to developing standard operating procedures that comply with regulations. The person in this role is also responsible for keeping the laboratories up to date when it comes to health and safety codes. Training company employees on all extraction and refinement-related tasks is also a crucial part of this job. When it comes to pay, starting salaries for the Director of Extraction role typically hover around $47,000 per year, and top employees can bring home nearly $200,000 per year.
3. Compliance Manager Salary: $62,500
The Compliance Manager is primarily in charge of ensuring that the company follows all state, local, and federal regulations — a job that’s critical if you want to stay in business and avoid getting in trouble. In addition to these legal tasks, they track the seed sales, perform internal compliance audits, and stay up to date on any changes that may be prevalent in legislation that concerns marijuana. They are also responsible for educating the company’s staff on any new regulations that come up before they officially come into effect and get implemented. Salaries for compliance managers can range from $45,000 a year all the way up to about $150,000 annually.
4. Cannabis Sales Representative Salary: $58,000
Cannabis Sales Representatives are in charge of creating solid strategies that will increase company sales. Handling account management is also a big part of the job. They also focus on building and maintaining customer relationships, devising new marketing initiatives, product branding, and connecting with new retail partners that can bring their products to more consumers. Starting salaries for sales representatives in the cannabis industry generally begin on the lower end at about $28,000, but top sales representatives have the potential to earn $150,000 or more, and as always with the cannabis industry, there is plenty of room to grow.
5. Dispensary Store Manager Salary: $56,250
The Dispensary Store Manager ensures that daily operations at their medical or recreational marijuana dispensary run as smoothly and efficiently as possible. They track sales, order new inventory, and keep up with new and emerging trends in the cannabis industry. They are also responsible for hiring, training, and managing the retail staff and ensuring that their dispensary operates within the limits of all regulations from the local to the federal level. Dispensary Store Managers can expect to start with salaries just over $41,000, and experienced and productive managers can earn up to $98,000 annually.
Ultimately, no matter what path you take within cannabis, launching and growing a career in the ever-changing industry can be incredibly rewarding. If you’re interested in growing a career in cannabis, search our job board or speak to one of our Executive Recruiters.
This post was last updated on August 4, 2022