35% of participants in our CannaFacts survey selected job creation as their top concern. In this issue, we explore job outlooks, cannabis career fairs, weed wages, and other key issues as Canada prepares for the big business of recreational cannabis.
A field of opportunity
Opportunities for the Canadian workforce to grow as the legalized industry continues to grow are abundant. The biggest drivers of cannabis industry job growth in Canada come as companies try to ramp up production capacity and staff levels in anticipation for July 2018 of legalization.
The legal cannabis market encompasses: growing and distribution, retail, transportation, security, edibles, taxes, and tourism activities that add up to approximately $22.6B for the Canadian Economy, reported by a new study from Deloitte.
Weedmaps, a legal online marijuana community, published a billboard advertisement stating, “the regulated cannabis industry estimated 119,310 full-time employed jobs nationwide in 2016 compared to the coal mining industry that directly employed 50,400 employees as of March 2017.”
Out of the shadows and into the grow lights
The legalized market is looking to absorb labour resources from the already established underground cannabis culture. Industry staffing agencies like, Cannabis At Work and career fairs like, Lift Canada Expo in Vancouver, recruit experienced, top talent from the underground market. These candidates are no longer concerned with the stigmas of working in the Cannabis industry, and are excited to enjoy the benefits of competitive compensation, benefits, and being unionized.
Birth of the Budtender
An article by CBC News reports, provinces like Ontario and New Brunswick plan to implement a retail framework of government-owned stores, that will employ trained and knowledgeable staff called “budtenders”. “Budtenders” are similar to sommeliers who inform and sell customers cannabis products.
There are no official forecasts of job numbers for Quebec once legalization arrives.
However, Deloitte’s Economic Assessment Report of the Weedon project, one of two MYM Nutraceuticals growing facilities currently in development in Quebec, estimates that a total of 23,025 full-time equivalent (FTE) positions will be created over a 15 year period.
The total FTE employment in Canada generated by the Weedon project alone is estimated at 30,790 FTEs for a period of 15 years. The jobs distribution is 2,245 for construction and 28,545 for operations (1,903 FTEs per year).
“Some laid-off resource workers are looking forward to legalization. Sixty-year-old Arnold Meyer worked at the Tolko mill in Merritt for 40 years before receiving a pink slip last December. Standing outside the shuttered mill in May, as Premier John Horgan made a campaign stop, Meyer said he was still looking for work.”Cannabis industry lifts employment hopes
An article by The Canadian Press outlines the opportunities and employment benefits from the medical marijuana industry that have already proven fruitful in some rural areas, as seen in the First Nations Cowichan tribes on Vancouver Island. A joint effort between Harvest One Cannabis Inc. and the Cowichan Tribes, provide First Nations peoples the opportunity to learn the cannabis trade, stay in their communities, and support themselves.
Learnings from the US
In article from Fortune, Chris Walsh, industry analyst and editorial vice president of MJBizDaily, states that the cannabis sector currently employs an estimated 125,000 to 160,000 full-time workers.
“To put this in perspective, there are potentially more full-time marijuana industry workers than there are librarians or kindergarten teachers throughout the country – and over 6 times the number of coal miners in the U.S.”
The article states industry projections show up to 340,000 full-time jobs by 2022, an estimated annual growth rate of 21%.
By the numbers
Regulated cannabis industry estimated 119,310 full-time employed jobs nationwide in 2016 compared to the coal mining industry that directly employed 50,400 employees as of March 2017.
Over the next three months, we will be sharing some evidence-based information with you about cannabis as it relates to health and wellness, the economy and consumer safety.