Demand, Pay For Cannabis Jobs Rose in 2018

As legalization efforts gain steam across the country, the cannabis economy continues to grow. Glassdoor recently published a report citing some very encouraging trends for those interested in finding a position in the legal cannabis industry.

The positive job outlook is nothing new to those who have been following it. In fact, we recently published an article examining the high pay and generous benefits of positions at cannabis companies. While this does have to do with more favorable state cannabis laws, there is something far more powerful at play to support the numbers we see below: investment in hiring. Because of the long term investment of time and money that is required to increase a company’s workforce, this is one of the best indicators we have to predict industry growth.

Finding 1: Cannabis Jobs Pay More than the US Median

As we cited in our last article on salary, the average pay of a cannabis industry job increased by 16.8% in 2017. Now we have additional information on how those salaries compare to the US median thanks to Glassdoor’s salary reporting tool. The average US salary as reported on their website is $52,863. For the cannabis industry specifically, average earnings are $5,648 higher, or 10.7%. While this is a large figure by itself, consider this: the average lifetime earnings of someone working in the United States is $1.85MM. If you work for a cannabis company, you will make $198,177 more than that, putting your lifetime earnings at over $2MM.

Job Openings Have Nearly Doubled Year Over Year

Open cannabis positions have been increasing at a steady rate dating back to the beginning of 2017. According to Vangst, a cannabis head hunting agency, they expect job growth to reach 220% by 2019. The most recent figures show that we’re well on our way to hit that projection. Looking at the window of time from December 2017 through December 2018, listings  on Glassdoor increased by 76%, showing how confident these companies are in their long term viability heading into 2019.

More Than Half Of The Jobs At Cannabis Companies Are For Professional And Technical Workers

While on the surface it may not seem important that the majority of positions in the cannabis industry (53% to be exact) are not for people directly involved with handling the plant, this is actually an excellent indicator for growth. As the industry becomes more legitimate, companies need to hire functions similar to any other business – sales, marketing, retail managers, IT professionals, HR, and more. Now the current job type distribution reflects that of a thriving business in any other sector. On CannaInsiders, you can clearly see this trend just by looking at our job categories page. The categories containing cannabis specific functions contain only 41% of our total listings.

While cannabis use in the United States is facing an uphill legal battle for the foreseeable future, business leaders have clearly spoken. They are continuing to invest in human capital which is unequivocally driving the industry forward.