Despite the recent bad news around the industry, cannabis companies are a great place to look for job-seekers, from hourly retail employees all the way up to experienced executives.
Vangst, a cannabis industry recruiting startup, shared its 2019 salary guide exclusively with Business Insider. The guide, which surveyed cannabis companies across the industry, points to some promising trends.
The cannabis industry employs about 200,000 people in the US this year, and that number is expected to increase to over 400,000 jobs by 2021, according to Vangst’s guide.
“We’re coming out with this report as a lot of companies are laying people off, and people are reluctant about cannabis employment opportunities,” Vangst CEO Karson Humiston said in an interview. “But look at the actual facts: There are 211,000 people employed in cannabis right now, and this number is expected to reach over 400,000 by 2021. The industry is growing, the number of jobs is growing, and that’s a fact.”
Wall Street analysts say cannabis could become an $85 billion industry by 2030, and most Democratic candidates for US president have advocated for full-scale legalization.
Yutong Yuan/Business Insider
Though cannabis is a growing industry, companies from cannabis-tech startups to publicly traded cultivators have laid off over 600 people at all levels in the past few months, per Business Insider’s own reporting.
Humiston said while that is a function of industry turmoil it’s also because more experienced executives from other industries are taking jobs at cannabis companies, and seeing where there are wasted dollars so they can “trim the fat” and operate more efficiently.
That being said, getting in on the ground floor of the industry and weathering the turmoil can pay off in the long run through the skills you develop and the network you create, says Humiston.
As new state markets open up, they’ll need people with real expertise navigating the complicated industry. On top of that, you can get paid in stock which could have a long-term upside.
“Take a director of cultivation for example,” says Humiston. “If you’ve worked in the legally-compliant cannabis industry for a few years, you’re in such high demand because how many people out there have large scale commercial cannabis experience?”
Here’s how much you can expect to get paid in the cannabis industry, in roles from edibles specialist to VP of retail: A director of cultivation at a cannabis company can