As marijuana becomes legal in more parts of the country, the cannabis industry has seen a surge in growth, leading to opportunities for both entrepreneurs and workers.
It’s been a boom, according to experts. And it’s one that is expected to continue.
Numbers published by the Marijuana Business Daily projected that the cannabis industry will have a total impact of more than $44 billion on the United States economy by 2020. That includes both sales and the ripple effect of the industry on the economy.
Another report, from ArcView Market Research, projects sales alone of legal marijuana could reach $21.8 billion by 2020. How big is that? Bigger than the current profits of the National Football League.
Clearly, the cannabis industry is a hot industry for jobs. In California alone, more than 100,000 people already work in the industry. As many as 1 million jobs in the cannabis industry are expected to be created in California in the next eight years.
Entering the cannabis industry also places you in the company of celebrities. Whoopi Goldberg just announced a new line of cannabis products to help women with the pain of menstrual cramps, teaming with Maya Elisabeth, who already has made a name for herself with Om Edibles.
Jobs in the Cannabis Industry
There are so many careers opening up in the cannabis industry that job fairs are springing up around the country, including one set in San Francisco. In 2015, the job fair, which is called the SF Bay Area Cannabis Career & Job Fair, 26 employers hired 125 employees.
Those numbers are expected to increase this year.
Here are some of the many jobs cannabis businesses are looking to fill.
Administration. Any business, especially one growing this rapidly, needs smart and skilled managers to oversee it. This area is especially attractive to those seeking a career change, as the jobs include those found in every business, including accountants, marketing professionals and tax experts.
Retail shop owners. For those with an entrepreneurial spirit, owning and operating a retail marijuana shop can be an attractive option. The issue is getting a license to own one. For example, in Washington a limited number of licenses were given to people selected in a lottery. However, it is expected that it will be easier to do as time passes and more states legalize medical marijuana.
Delivery. This is one of the fastest growing areas of the cannabis industry. Couriers are springing up around the country who specialize in delivering marijuana purchases to customers – sometimes using bikes, just like message couriers in larger cities. This is an especially important service for those who use medical marijuana and cannot travel to pick up their purchases.
Security. Most retail shops maintain security staff. They have the job of checking IDs and making sure each person who enters the shop is of legal age, as well as making sure financial transactions happen without any issues.
Budtender. These are the bartenders of the marijuana business. They help customers in making their purchase decision by having knowledge about different strains of cannabis and the edible products that are available.
Farmer. Obviously, with the demand for legal marijuana booming, more people are needed to oversee the growing and cultivating of marijuana plants. This is a difficult-but-rewarding career, as marijuana farmers face the same type of issues any farmer faces, including temperature control and pests.
Glass merchant. The growing number of people using marijuana legally means a growing need for pipes, vaporizers and other products designed to allow them to partake. Jobs here can range from creating the devices yourself to marketing and selling them.
Edibles creator. As Elisabeth’s Om Edibles business has shown, there is a need for creating cannabis-infused foods. The variety of culinary choices runs the gamut from cookies and sodas to oatmeal and coffee.
These are just some of the jobs available for those who want a career change and are considering the cannabis industry. While at this time it might require a move to states where cannabis is legal, the possible payoff for your career in the long term is big as the cannabis industry continues to boom and shows no sign of letting up.