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What's Prompting a Surge In Cannabis Jobs?

There's a big shift happening in the job market right now.

This story originally appeared on The Fresh Toast

COVID-19 made us face the shocking reality that working from home was possible. It also highlighted how undervalued many employees are.

Now that companies are back in their offices again, employers are reckoning with the fact that many of their workers would rather quit than return to a job that never valued them in the first place. And many of these workers are discovering their passion in an unlikely place: the cannabis industry.

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Welcome to the party

According to The Washington Post, many disgruntled retail workers have turned to cannabis. While 2020 was a horrible year in the country’s economy, the cannabis industry grew by 32%. As of this year, the cannabis industry is the fastest-growing industry in America, with 320,000 full-time jobs according to a report conducted by CannabizTeam.

The Washington Post spoke with a variety of employees that had left their jobs in retail and were now involved in the cannabis industry. “I am so much happier,” said Jason Zvokel, who used to work in a pharmacy and now is employed in a dispensary. “For the first time in years, I’m not miserable when I come home from work.”

While Zvokel is making 5% less than he used to, his hours and his work expectations are more manageable. “People were quitting left and right and I was being asked to do a lot more than I physically could,” he said.

The “Great Resignation” wasn’t only prompted because people prefer to work in the comfort of their homes — a vast majority of employees felt undervalued. And it only got worse as the pandemic progressed, and employers asked for more and more of their time and energy without providing proper remuneration.

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There's more room to grow

While pay in the cannabis industry is likely minimum wage when first starting a position, the industry is brand new, meaning that there’s more of a chance to grow and stand out, earning better pay and better hours over the long haul. There’s also the fact that more and more states are legalizing the drug, providing for job openings and opportunities in a variety of positions, taking in applicants with a variety of applicable skills and backgrounds.

As more time passes, cannabis continues to prove that it’s a strong industry that is here to stay, despite the hurdles it still faces.