Cannabis industry growth may put pressure on retail, hospitality employers
- As the industry grows, the quick grab for talent in the cannabis industry may be pressuring other retail categories. With more than 1,500 job postings on Glassdoor in December of last year, the marijuana industry has seen a 76% increase in openings over a twelve-month period, the site noted in a recent report. Even though current federal regulation outlaws its sale and use, statewide initiatives legalizing marijuana have allowed the industry to expand. Support for legalization has reached a "record high" of 66% of Americans in favor; 33 states have either legalized it for either medicinal or recreational use, Glassdoor noted.
- To compete, median salaries in the industry are more than 10% higher than the U.S. median, coming in at around $58,511 per year. The majority of open jobs listed on the site were for professional and technical workers, including people specializing in marketing, accounting and more, but the most in-demand jobs were all service and retail-oriented jobs, such as sales associates and brand ambassadors.
- Most jobs are posted by small or medium businesses in particular localities, but the most in-demand jobs in cannabis may be in direct competition with similar jobs in retail, hospitality and restaurants, putting even more pressure on employers in today's tight talent market.
Cannabis is one of the top growth industries in the U.S., and not because of the need to grow its product line. The trade is seeing expansion across the country as more states and localities legalize its consumption. For many in the industry, talent shortages may continue to drive wages up, even for entry-level positions, to keep pace with growing consumer demand — an interesting snapshot into how a developing industry is both grappling with and directly impacting the talent market.
Talent shortage is considered a top risk for organizations going into 2019, a recent Gartner survey revealed, and the marijuana industry only makes an already tough retail and hospitality market tougher. High wages in the industry could spread in localities where marijuana jobs are prevalent. And salary is one of the top reasons job seekers set out to find new opportunities.
Training in the industry is providing a road map for many emerging trades, however. As states and municipalities scramble to keep pace with pending legislation, schools, training facilities and certification programs are popping up to address what many believe will be an influx of more than half a million new jobs in the marijuana industry in the next six years.
Follow Riia O'Donnell on Twitter