Cannabis Jobs in High Demand Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic
Unemployment rates have been rising in the US since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, but so far the cannabis sector seems to be faring better than other industries in this field. Instead of being cut, cannabis jobs are actually in high demand.
Cannabis sales have been soaring since the start of the outbreak, and weed companies have risen to the challenge with many of them offering home deliveries and curbside pickups. On top of that, most US states have deemed medical cannabis dispensaries as essential and have allowed them to stay open while other retail businesses have been shuttered.
Even though the period of panic and stockpiling cannabis is over, weed sales show no indication of going down. In Illinois alone, sales of cannabis for recreational use reached almost $37.3 million in the first full month of the lockdown.
Several companies in various states are looking to add thousands of employees to their workforce in spite of the pandemic.
Green Leaf Medical reports that the company is in the process of hiring around 300 workers for their cultivation and retail operations in Virginia and Maryland. Florida-based Trulieve added 250 employees to their retail sector since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, whereas Cresco Labs is hiring an additional 250 workers for their Illinois stores.
And it’s not just big companies that are looking for workers. Smaller enterprises such as NFuzed, a Colorado-based manufacturer of weed gummies, have hired new people since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and Lightshade, a company that operates dispensaries and cultivation sites in Denver, is planning on employing at least 20 workers.
The rise in demand for cannabis workers is not a new phenomenon. Last year there were 250,000 full-time employees in the legal weed industry, an increase of 15% from 2018.
But sadly, the spike in demand for workers in the cannabis sector is not universal. Some of the biggest names in the industry such as Acreage Holdings and the Canadian cannabis giant, Canopy Growth, have slashed hundreds of jobs in the past month. Other big players on the market were strapped for cash even before the pandemic started as a result of cannabis stocks going down last year.
Lack of access to federal coronavirus relief funds and limitations on banking services offered to weed business is further hurting the industry.
Even though the cannabis market appears to be recession-proof, there is no telling how the coronavirus situation will develop and how it will affect this sector. For now, openings in the weed industry could be a lifeline for the thousands of people losing their jobs on a daily basis.