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Cannabis Cultivators’ Wages Rise in Canada

Canadian flag with cannabis leaves

The cannabis industry is a hot jobs market, especially in Canada as the country is set to legalize commerce later this summer. The competition among companies is tough, but the need for skilled workers is needed and ending prohibition has proven to be a jobs creator. As the marijuana market moves mainstream and adapts, there are fluctuations, but if you are looking for a job in the industry, Canada is a great place to look, especially if you are a cannabis cultivator as growers are seeing their wages rise in the Great White North.

As The Star reported, Cannabis At Work’s second jobs report has found that pay for cultivation positions are increasing faster than other jobs in the cannabis space:

The group’s founder and CEO Alison McMahon said salaries for jobs like cultivation manager, quality assurance, cultivation technician and processing assistant have all gone up since last year — in some cases, as much as 14 per cent.

“If there’s anywhere in the sector where we’re seeing a talent shortage or skill shortage, it’s on the cultivation side,” she said.

On the higher end, a quality assurance person in Alberta is making an average of more than $103,000 a year, while master growers can expect about $81,000.

Interestingly, Cannabis At Work found that business service jobs like accounting and human resource officers have actually seen wages dip a bit as the industry has gone more mainstream. With the United States still being a prohibition nation at the federal level, these corporate positions should remain top-paying jobs as keeping the government off of your back (especially the IRS) remains more complicated.

Marijuana Business Daily listed the salary averages of some key jobs across the sector:

In-demand positions among the growing number of cannabis companies could include master grower (79,700 Canadian dollars [$61,400] average annual value), growing technician (CA$43,600 aav), quality assurance person (CA$91,300 aav) and extraction specialist (CA$54,100 aav).

On the top end of the survey, the average midpoint salaries for CEO, CFO and COO were CA$207,000, CA$180,200 and CA$162,500, respectively.

On the bottom end, the average midpoint salaries for customer care specialist, security specialist and shipping manager were CA$41,823, CA$46,239 and CA$42,976, respectively.

Legalizing cannabis commerce is more of an art than a science, with every system having strengths and flaws. In the United States, we’ve seen both shortages and overproduction, while Canadian regulations may overreach by prohibiting cannabis companies from branding themselves on traditional products like t-shirts and caps. Despite all of the obstacles and blemishes, jobs and revenue will follow every legalization law (along with more freedom), so there is ample opportunity to find that right position for you in the burgeoning industry.

Whether you are a cannabis cultivator, managing a startup, work in an ancillary business, or have any job or interest in the industry, the International Cannabis Business Conference is the event for you. The ICBC will be in Vancouver this June 24th-25th to provide the latest information regarding the Canadian cannabis industry as well as the best networking opportunities with prominent investors, entrepreneurs, and advocates.

With Canopy Rivers offering up to a million dollars with a “Micro Cannabis, Macro Impact” pitch event, Henry Rollins keynoting, and Del the Funky Homosapien performing, it is easy to see that the ICBC is a business conference unlike any other. Get your tickets before they sell out! If you can’t make the Vancouver event, the Portland conference is right around the corner on September 27th-28th.

Alison McMahon, Cannabis At Work, cannabis cultivator, Marijuana Business Daily, The Star