Despite marijuana remaining illegal at the federal level, job growth data shows that an increasing number of cannabis companies are investing in their workforce. ZipRecruiter reported a whopping 445% increase in cannabis jobs in 2017, up from just an 18% increase in 2016.
Cannabis jobs are on the rise in legal states across the country – and it’s just a taste of what could come. In a federally legal marketplace, the industry could generate $105.6 billion in federal tax revenue while creating 1 million jobs by 2025.
At Caliva, we ramped up hiring in 2017 as part of our preparation for changes to the industry. More than 180 people currently work in a variety of positions, from budtending to IT to compliance. These are only a few of the jobs available in the cannabis industry, so let’s take a look at where, and what, to expect for hiring in new markets across the country.
Marijuana Jobs in California and Beyond
Human Resources Specialist Kathie Truong wasn’t sure what to expect when she started at Caliva a few months ago. “I came from the tech world and my expectations were honestly low. The high-level executive talent is very impressive and that’s been a huge takeaway for me,” she said.
Her surprise is similar to others who made the switch to cannabis. From entry-level to executives, the market has a demand for all skill levels and experience. New Frontier Data’s annual industry report estimates the market will jump from 121,000 jobs in 2017 to 283,000 by 2020. Cannabis data firm BDS Analytics puts the job total as high as 292,000 by 2021.
ZipRecruiter’s findings for 2017 explored both year-over-year job growth and the total number of jobs offered in the cannabis industry. As you may have expected, California ranked highly for total jobs offered, taking two of the top three spots:
Total Marijuana Jobs Available in 2017
- Denver, CO
- Los Angeles, CA
- San Francisco, CA
- Seattle, WA
- Portland, OR
- Sacramento, CA
- Spokane, WA
- Miami, FL
- Chicago, IL
- Boston, MA
What you may not have expected: not a single California city ranked in the top 10 for cannabis job growth. Despite Caliva’s spike in hiring, reports state that marijuana jobs in California have only seen a slight hiring rise since adult-use sales began.
The small jump indicates that a new market opening does not ensure that it will become an immediate job destination. In an interview with the Daily Hampshire Gazette, THC Staffing Group co-founder and president Danielle Schumacher explained that Massachusetts could find itself in the same spot when sales begin in July. “It’s possible that when things first get going in Massachusetts, there might not be as much hiring as people expect,” she said. “In California, they’re still kind of on pause to see how things go and see what they need.”
Notably, the two best cities in the country for cannabis job growth, Spokane and Miami, also made this top 10 list , suggesting those markets are ready to erupt.
Year-Over-Year Cannabis Job Growth, 2016-2017
- Spokane, WA
- Miami, FL
- Deltona, FL
- Baltimore, MD
- Dallas, TX
- Philadelphia, PA
- New York, NY
- Lincoln, NE
- Chicago, IL
- Pueblo, CO
This data also revealed which 420-friendly are cities on the rise. Locations like Pueblo made the list while demonstrating the power of cannabis on an economy – the city invested $23 million in establishing its market and has already seen a $35 million economic impact from it.
What type of cannabis jobs are available?
While working in traditional marijuana jobs is still an option, many other career paths now exist. At Caliva, we hire for many of the same positions as most vertically integrated companies – everything from finance to marketing to supply chain and logistics. Our HR department frequently lists available positions on sites like Glassdoor, ZipRecruiter, AngelList and Craigslist. We also occasionally host job fairs, which help expedite the familiarization process for us and applicants.
Caliva’s team is a mix of traditional and “new” jobs. “Retail and cultivation jobs are always available as we grow (pun intended!) our cultivation facilities. Retail is also available because we are seeing such increases in traffic in our store,” Truong said. “We have several high-level positions available and recently filled. That speaks to the developing cannabis market and the overall growth of Caliva. It’s an exciting time and I’m proud to work here.”
Cannabis Job Hiring Done Right
The rapid expansion of legal cannabis shouldn’t give businesses a pass on hiring standards. No matter the position, each hire at Caliva is crucial to our mission as the #1 trusted brand in cannabis. “An organized hiring process is a must,” Truong emphasized. “It’s really mirroring my previous work in tech. There’s a formal process, review protocol, and financial checklists that need to be followed. We’re a legit company and I take pride in implementing these processes.”
As such, Caliva’s HR department emphasizes professionalism above all other qualities. Despite what some folks may think, we aren’t sitting around smoking weed all day! Since Caliva’s first day in 2015, we’ve held ourselves to a higher standard than other cannabis companies, and though our hiring process may add a few more steps, it ensures that every hire is a perfect fit. “There’s a lot of people very excited as they’re on-boarded here because of where we’re heading, the benefits we offer, and the overall culture,” Truong said.
Regardless of where the jobs are (or the political climate), it’s clear the cannabis industry is not slowing down. As California’s market matures and more cities embrace cannabis, jobs of all types within the industry will also grow. It’s just a matter of time.