By Brittany Shoot
September 27, 2018

Jobs in legal compliance and operations management are not just careers in the white-collar world. According to a new report from Vangst, a recruitment and job placement agency focused on the cannabis industry, these are some of the most popular jobs in a growing industry: legal cannabis cultivation and retail sales management. Moreover, the cannabis industry is projected to grow 220% in 2019 alone, according to the report.

Of course grow house and budtending jobs are on the rise. But as the legal marijuana industry continues to professionalize, jobs in finance, compliance, and operations are also opening up, with a staggering 690% increase in overall marijuana industry job listings between January 1, 2017 and August 1, 2018. Many of those jobs listed were offered under titles such as director of cultivation or director of extraction. And, average salaries in the industry grew 16.8% between 2017 and 2018. That’s a lot of green.

It’s worth pointing out that many director-level jobs require complex training and knowledge that is fairly common in other industries. Consider compliance managers, tasked with maintaining an understanding of complex state and federal laws. And finance directors in the cannabis industry have a problem unique to few other legal industries: most marijuana growers and sellers are still not allowed to bank with most major financial institutions, which fear running afoul of guidelines about aiding what is still considered criminal activity on the federal level.

The study and salary ranges reported was based on data compiled from 1,200 cannabis companies around the country, as well as Vangst’s own internal data from several years of staffing the cannabis industry.

It makes sense that marijuana industry jobs would be growing, given how quickly cannabis has been legalized across the United States in recent years. Medical marijuana is now legal in 30 U.S. states, and the legal marijuana market size is even catching up with beer and wine sales, thanks mostly to recreational marijuana use, which is legal in nine states. Legal marijuana sales were projected to hit $10 billion in the U.S. in 2017. It seems all but certain in his growing industry, that estimate will be met and well exceeded.

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