Some people dream of working in travel, others in food and some want to work in the growing marijuana industry. Do you want to get in on “the ground floor”…although that ship is pretty much about to sail unless it is a brand new legal state. Either way, the cannabis industry employees over 428K and still searching for good talent.
Coming out of Covid, that marijuana industry has had some ups and downs. California and its job market is down, but Missouri is hiring. Smaller states are experiencing an uptick while some of the legacy ones are struggling. Missouri, Michigan and New Jersey had the strongest job growth. New York, with over 1,500 unlicensed retailers, is also hiring, but it is a bit more risky.
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There are four industry divisions – grow, product, retail, and ancillary. The best current opportunities are in product and retail.
Grow is having the biggest difficulties as both legal and black market flower is flooding the market and the price per pound has dropped. It is as seen a year over year decrease of about 25% meaning they are streamlining operations. Think of this as working in a farm or large garden operation. An in person, hands on role that lets you nurture the plant and then ship it off to be a pre-roll, product or flower. A smaller part of the industry but employees and owners tend to passionate, especially in developing new strains.
Products remain healthy as seen on April 20th, the high holy day of cannabis sales. Sales skyrocketed as more people enter the market and increase how often they consume. There is an opportunity for brands that have multiple product lines and also have strong distribution.
An independently conducted poll from Jushi uncovered that, despite rising inflationary pressure and cost-saving behaviors, demand for cannabis is resilient.
39% of participants said they purchased less expensive cannabis in 2022 compared to 2021, but 73% actually spent more money per transaction this year. Additionally, THC percentage and price are the new leading factors considered when consumers purchase cannabis. Last year, branding and strain type were most important, but now 60% and 58% of respondents consider THC percent and price the most important factors, respectively.
If you go into product, make sure you understand how much they are making, selling and their growth potential. Maybe do some research and talk to your favorite retailer to see how their brand is selling.
Retail is definitely not a work at home but rather a vibrant chance to interact and learn from customers. Retailers are often open 7 days a week and have traditional boom times such as July 4th, holiday weekends, winter holidays, etc. Smart ones also work to minimize slow times. A recent survey from CivicScience found that 21% of people doing Dry January — a popular trend where you abstain from alcohol for the month — are replacing alcohol with cannabis and CBD. The same survey uncovered that the largest demographic of people replacing alcohol with cannabis are aged 21-24 (34%), followed by 25-34-year-olds (24%). If you go into retail, act professional, know and connect with your customers and look for ways for the company (and you) to increase sales and profits. Strong salespeople ALWAYS have a good career paths.
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Ancillary includes all the “picks and shovels” business such as marketing and packaging firms to point of sale systems. This area has taken a hit and responded in a unique way. Cannabis firms have lost business to mainstream firms and cannabis ancillary firms are branching out to more mainstream clients.
If you have talent in ancillary area – be it tech, sales, marketing, insurance, so on, consider looking at large and boutique mainstream agencies/companies and asking them if you can help lead up their marijuana division.
On a last note, marijuana is still an emerging industry with a chance to make a name for yourself with hard work and gumption.