Cannabis Employees Are Still in High Demand Despite the Economic Crash
As the coronavirus pandemic wreaks economic havoc on the United States, cannabis businesses in several states are hiring thousands of new employees, Politico reported in a piece published earlier this month.
According to Politico “In most cases, these hiring plans were already in the works prior to the public health crisis, but the economic paralysis gripping much of the rest of the economy largely hasn’t derailed those plans.”
The article mentions cannabis producer Green Leaf Medical, which it says is now hiring around 300 workers for its cultivation and retail operations in Virginia and Maryland, as well as Florida based Trulieve and Cresco Labs of Illinois, both of which are reportedly hiring at least 250 new workers. This is in addition to a number of smaller companies mentioned in the article which are beefing up their workforce.
That said, the article does mention how major cannabis companies like Canopy Growth and Acreage Holdings have made major job cuts in recent weeks. In addition, the fact that marijuana is still illegal on the federal level means that cannabis companies can’t access most banking services and haven’t been eligible for assistance in previous rounds of federal coronavirus relief.
Nonetheless, cannabis is both literally and figuratively a growth industry, and there is reason to expect this to continue. According to the cannabis industry research and analysis firm BDSA, 69% of adults over the age of 21 in fully legal US states either consume cannabis or are open to consuming cannabis. In a press release in April, BDSA stated that they expect the legal cannabis market in the US to grow to $34 billion by 2025, and $47 billion worldwide.
The pandemic has in a number of ways bolstered these optimistic assessments of the industry.
As closures went into effect in early March in an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus, dispensaries across the country reported a sharp rise in sales as recreational and medical marijuana consumers stocked up before going into quarantine.
Interviewed at the time, Travis Rexroad, the director of communications for Weedmaps, one of the leading online directories for cannabis vendors, said “many of our retail partners are seeing up to four times the typical volume on orders placed.”
At the same time, states and local authorities across the country (both in the US and Canada) ruled that cannabis providers are “essential services” much like pharmacies and healthcare clinics, allowing them to remain open and serving customers despite the lockdowns.
The initial spike in sales eventually leveled off, but the pandemic and the definition of cannabis providers as “essential” has given marijuana advocates and customers a much stronger case to make for widespread reform of cannabis laws on the federal level.
This new reality has also highlighted to countless people how important cannabis is to those who use it – especially during trying times.