Marijuana jobs are growing like a weed.
According to CNBC, the marijuana industry currently employs about 150,000 people nationwide. This figure is, by itself, outstanding. Back in 1994, Dale Gieringer, a doctor working with California NORML, extrapolated the job-creating capacity of the weed industry and settled on a figure of 100,000 jobs if the drug were legalized nationally. We’ve only seen recreational pot legalized in a handful of states, and medical cannabis was only legal in half of all U.S. states heading into the November elections, yet we’re already 50% above Gieringer’s forecast with full legalization from a little over two decades ago.
However, we could just be getting started. According to analyst estimates, the marijuana job market could double or triple in the years to come, meaning 150,000 to 300,000 additional cannabis-related jobs could be filled in the near- and intermediate-terms.
Remember, the cannabis industry extends beyond just growing, processing, and budtending at the retail level. Job opportunities are flourishing in security (since most banks refuse to deal with marijuana-based businesses, cash is still king), courier and delivery services, regulation, web and software development, consulting, and marketing. In fact, CNBC notes that roughly 400 students have enrolled in a 12-course program offered by the Northeastern Institute of Cannabis in Natick, Massachusetts that’ll potentially jump-start their career in the cannabis industry. As with any industry, employment pay can vary, but managers and shop owners can certainly make six figures under the right conditions.
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