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Political Analyst – Derek Thomas
The political and social events that have taken place over the past few years speak volumes about the amount of disenfranchised and displaced people who still feel the economic consequences of the 07/08 financial crises.
And in most sectors, things aren’t looking any better. There are simply too few attractive options currently available. Learn to code? Take a part time job in the service industry?
…Start a new career in an industry that you’re passionate about and that will bring you lots of green.
New Frontier Data recently released a report that projects the legal cannabis industry will add almost 300,000 jobs to the economy by 2020. That’s a lot of jobs. Consider that the United States has the largest economy in the world and for the last few years has only added a few hundred thousand jobs to its economy per month from every combined industry.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the jobs added from the legal cannabis industry will outnumber the jobs added from traditionally strong American job creating industries like manufacturing, utilities, and government.
Even more amazing is that New Frontier Data has basing these projections on markets in states that have already passed legalization initiatives and does not include additional states that will likely pass initiatives in the coming years.
“These numbers confirm that cannabis is a major economic driver and job creation engine for the U.S. economy,” said Giadha Aguirre De Carcer, founder and CEO of New Frontier Data.
“While we see a potential drop in total number of U.S. jobs created in 2017, as reported by Kiplinger, as well as an overall expected drop in GDP growth, the cannabis industry continues to be a positive contributing factor to growth at a time of potential decline,” Aguirre De Carcer told Forbes.
But what are all these jobs? Which actually pay well? Monitoring sites like Monster and WeedHire can actually provide a lot of insight.
One of the most lucrative types of cannabis jobs is a dispensary manager, which can pay around $75,000 a year. If this seems high compared to other management positions, remember the additional responsibilities and liabilities that come with marijuana. Local and state regulations, potential federal crackdowns, all-cash transactions, and other considerations add a lot of responsibility onto a managers’ plate.
Growers are also well compensated, often similar or equal to that of managers. Why? Well, the entire industry depends on the quality of the plant. These positions often require botany and horticulture skills, but learning on the job via internships is a potential option for those with no experience growing. And no, the three plants growing in your closet are not a resume booster.
As more states pass legalization laws that involve convoluted licensing requirements, consultant positions will be in high demand. The red tape laid on by bureaucracy can be overwhelming for a start-up that just wants to focus on growing, dispensing, processing, or extracting.
Cannabis consultants help businesses cut through that red tape, but, do require a lot of local and state knowledge. Not to mention these types of opportunities often require legal or accounting degrees depending on the businesses specific needs.
Corn – the crop – has roughly 1,100 patents. Marijuana? Around 100. There’s lots of room for advancement for scientists looking for medical or industrial breakthroughs in cannabis.
Concentrate Makers and Edible Creators:
Does anyone even smoke flower anymore? Just kidding, but other ways to consume are exploding in growth, those who can process them will become more valuable. An extraction technician starting salary is around $60,000 – and the talented guys are making six figures.
Bud Trimmers and Bud Tenders:
Not qualified for one of the above jobs? Get your start in the industry by trimming buds or by selling bud in dispensaries. These jobs pay anywhere from $12 - $15 per hour, but are a great way to enter into the industry.
Or bring your own skills and position into the industry. Remember, all of these new businesses are going to need marketers, operators, graphic designers, website builders, receptionists, assistants, security guards, accountants, book keepers, human resource managers, and many more!
Just don’t show up high to your interview – as the industry matures, it will expect the professionalism it deserves despite its nature.