Cannabis Industry Supports 400K+ Jobs In US: How Much Do They Pay?

Cannabis industry hiring platform Vangst released its latest “Cannabis Industry Salary Guide.

The report is a valuable resource for businesses and job seekers looking for data-driven insights on open positions and growth opportunities by sector. 

Growing Amid The ‘Great Resignation’

Despite hiring constraints among mainstream businesses, the cannabis industry has experienced a 75% increase in employment within the last two years. As the industry workforce grows, several cannabis businesses have strengthened their equity and inclusion practices, allowing for increasingly diverse workplaces.

Within the last year, representation of the following marginalized groups has increased throughout surveyed companies: Black/African descent, indigenous peoples, non-binary, disabled and veteran status.

As the regulated industry matures, companies have also increased recruiting initiatives for experienced leaders who have the skills to scale quickly evolving enterprises. The latest Cannabis Industry Salary Guide highlights the importance of developing high-profile talent. Surveyed companies found that elevating employees to leadership positions improved retention rates and reduced training expenses. Companies also viewed professionals who rose from entry-level positions to executive roles as especially invaluable to the organization and industry at large. 

Creating Attractive Work Environments

In 2021, companies retained diverse talent by creating attractive work environments. For the first year ever, the report found that all surveyed companies offered benefits for their full-time employees. More than half of all surveyed companies provided paid time off, medical, dental and vision insurance. More than one-third of surveyed companies provided 401(K) options, remote work schedules and long or short-term disability support. 

“Our latest Salary Guide exemplifies how the cannabis industry continues to grow year-over-year despite recent hiring challenges in the mainstream business community,” said Karson Humiston, founder and CEO of Vangst. “As the industry broadens its reach and services in 2022, the Vangst Cannabis Industry Salary Guide will enable companies and brands to make data-driven and informed decisions to build a more diverse, equitable and engaged workforce.”

2022 Cannabis Jobs Market Predictions

2022 is expected to be a year of massive growth within the industry.

The report predicts that expanding cannabis markets within New York, Virginia, Connecticut and New Mexico will create more than 100,000 jobs. Additionally, increased demand for seasonal employment will create an estimated 50,000 temporary positions this year. Vangst believes top talent will be drawn to the industry for a few of the following reasons:

  • Researchers continue to deepen the connection between consumption and positive health outcomes.
  • Providing marginalized communities access to the industry’s economic impact continues to be a key component of social justice movements across the country.
  • Cannabis continues to be a source of tax revenue when deficits are growing due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Vangst suggests that those looking to enter the rapidly growing industry learn more about cannabis markets in their area. With eight new states legalizing adult-use cannabis between 2020 and 2021, several survey respondents were able to find job opportunities in their home state. Additionally, the report encourages incoming cannabis industry professionals to network and identify transferable skills useful in their potential new roles.

High-Paying Jobs

A quick look at the Vangst report reveals the highest-paying jobs by industry subsector.

In cultivation, a director makes between $85,000 and $160,000 per year, while a grow manager could make up to $80,000.

Extraction jobs pay better, with positions like Director of Extraction, Chemist and Compliance Manager paying upward of $100,000 a year.

A Vice President of Manufacturing makes anywhere between $140,000 and $185,000 a year.

Retail is a surprisingly high-paying sector. A Vice President of Retail Operations can make up to $200,000 a year, while a Director of Retail Operations can perceive a salary of $80,000 to $150,000 a year.

To find out more about average salaries and compensation in cannabis, request your free copy of Vangst's Cannabis Industry Salary Guide here.

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