Women-led executive search and staffing firm CannabizTeam released its first annual report providing cannabis employers and job seekers insights into the top cities in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut.
The 1st annual Tri-State 2022 Cannabis Industry Salary Guide—a comprehensive report providing single and multi-state cannabis employers and prospective employees from entry-level to C-suite executives—was released on September 15.
CannabizTeam’s data predicts over 100,000 cannabis jobs in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut by 2025. CannabizTeam estimates that New York could add an additional 63,000 jobs to the industry, New Jersey 29,400, and Connecticut could add 10,500.
On March 31, 2021, New York legalized adult-use cannabis with the passage of the Marijuana Regulation & Taxation Act (MRTA), and business is booming. Cannabis career fairs are popping up in places like Rochester and Albany.
The guide shows positions for cannabis jobs, salary ranges, and why some cannabis companies are relying on temp employees versus full-time.
“I think a lot of our clients learned a lot from what happened on the West Coast,” says CannabizTeam CEO and Founder Liesl Bernard. “And luckily, they’ve had the benefit of that experience, so I think probably more than any other state, the Tri-State area has an opportunity to do it better than what happened on the West Coast.”
CannabizTeam Direct and CannabizTeam On-Demand divisions have staffing offices in Baltimore, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Phoenix, and San Diego. California’s enormous market is old news, Bernard says, while all eyes are now on places like New York or New Jersey.
A general reliance on temporary positions continues to be prevalent in the industry as well. “From a hiring perspective, I think companies realize that they’re gonna have to be proactive, and a lot of companies now are working to or looking towards temp employees that look hiring a temp basis versus direct hire, to staff up quickly,” Bernard says. “So flexible staffing and on-demand, staffing has definitely become more of a trend in the cannabis industry.”
Executive positions are rising fast as well. The top median C-Suite salary for a Chief Financial Officer is $351,000, while a top median salary for a Chief Operations Officer is $294, 500
“Salaries in the cannabis industry are definitely rising and are becoming more and more on par with other industries in the area, we’re seeing,” Bernard says. “CEO salaries are, on average, immediately around 350k, which is very much on par with other industries. CFOs are around the 300k mark, as well. So, compared to where we were six years ago, when I started the staffing firm CannabizTeam, salaries were much lower in the cannabis industry, but now in order to attract the right talent, companies are paying market value for similar positions in other industries.”
Transferable Skills are Key
Transferable skills are proving to be very valuable in the cannabis industry.
“Hopefully, it’s still pulling talent from the pharmaceutical industry, from the consumer packaged goods industry, from food manufacturing, from big agriculture,” Bernard adds. “Because the industry is still very new, it’s only really about six or seven years old.”
Across the country, the cannabis industry is still having to pull from other industries in order to find the right talent. “As the industry continues to expand on the East Coast, as well, the East Coast now has the luxury of being able to recruit some people with cannabis industry experience that have maybe had, you know, three or four years, you know, on the West Coast or in Colorado, etc.”
Bernard says there is now a mix now between people that have cannabis experience and that are looking for their second career move in the industry.
CannabizTeam pulls data from various sources, with a staff that’s ready to start setting up placements in the tri-state area as companies gear up to start their operations. The biggest opportunities, however, can be found in New York. The New York governor’s executive budget estimates over $1.25 billion in cannabis tax revenue over the next six years.
“New York is expected to be even bigger than the California market,” Bernard says. “It’s going to be the biggest international cannabis market. So, we’re really gearing up for about 100,000 jobs to be created in just those three states over the next few years.”
Bernard has seen the industry transform into a mature market, and she knows what to expect in newer markets in the tri-state area.
“Six years ago when I founded the company,” Bernard says, “I think people were reluctant to get into the cannabis industry. I think there was still very much a stigma attached to it and people were nervous to leave their full-time jobs in accounting or law or manufacturing to jump to the industry, where today it’s very much the opposite.”