Cannabis is now legal in about two-thirds of states, whether for medicinal or recreational purposes, and it is making its mark with the most pronounced job boom in recent history. According to Leafly’s 2022 Cannabis Job Report, legal cannabis now supports 428,059 full-time jobs across the US. Since cannabis is still illegal at the federal level in the US, Leafly has started keeping track of the significant numbers in this thriving industry as employment data agencies and the federal government continue to ignore cannabis industry jobs in their reports. Advocates hope that a booming industry will eventually be too lucrative for the federal government not to want a cut of the revenue.
Encouraging Cannabis Jobs Growth
The industry saw a 33% increase in jobs in a single year, and the annual job rate growth has been greater than 27% for the last five years. In 2021 the industry created more than 280 new jobs every day. As expected, the highest concentrations of cannabis jobs were in states where cannabis is legal for both medical and recreational use, including Colorado and Washington. The new report also projects that total employment in the country’s marijuana market will eventually reach up to 1.75 million workers.
In the cannabis industry, we love to see job growth – especially where high turnover has been an issue in the past. The main reason for high turnover is, essentially, busy work that is costly for the employer and keeps the employees from being fully satisfied. Streamlining processes keeps the industry efficient, no matter the sector.
Growing variety in cannabis job opportunities
With the rising jobs that legal cannabis is creating in the United States, there are now more legal cannabis workers than there are firefighters and three times as many cannabis workers as there are dentists. Many people are switching careers and moving into the cannabis industry as the influx of jobs continues.
Jobs in the industry range from the cultivation process, including growing, harvesting, trimming, and extracting, to product management, website development, and marketing. There was also an increase on the retail front, with the hiring of more budtenders, store managers, and couriers.
The Cultivation Side–Growing & Harvesting Jobs
When most people think about jobs in the cannabis industry, they mostly imagine growers and budtenders, but that’s just a sliver of the full scope of cannabis industry jobs out there. Aside from the process of cultivation, hand trimming and manual packaging, or so-called “plant-touching” jobs requiring a level of direct expertise with the plant, there are also many opportunities in front-end retail and sales as well as many ancillary jobs which can include work in accounting, legal affairs, and regulatory compliance.
Learn about the top jobs in cannabis cultivation here.
The Consumer Side–Sales, Marketing & PR Jobs
There are countless jobs in cannabis media, technology platforms, and industry associations. As many smaller operations are transforming and scaling up to keep up with the demands of the flourishing cannabis industry, there are many new opportunities for employment.
Strong marketing and PR teams can help a company separate itself from its competitors and ensure its survival and growth. Expertise in these fields is welcomed by cannabis companies seeking a competitive edge, and it does not require one to be passionate about cannabis or an advocate for its legalization to benefit from and be of benefit to, the industry. Ask us about this!
Maybe more than anything else, this broadening of jobs in the cannabis field both in number and variety speaks to the gradual process of cannabis culture and enterprise gradually becoming mainstream–blending itself into the above-board marketplace. Where legacy opportunities were limited by their very underground nature–cultivation, wholesale, and distributing, generally speaking–a legal cannabis enterprise can hire talent for every stage of the process from concept to reality, and all the important compliance and marketing steps in between.