With the demand for cannabis in Canada outpacing demand, something industry insiders warned, Canadian businesses are now playing catch-up, increasing the demand for jobs across all sectors of the industry. The jobs surge actually started well before cannabis commerce officially began on October 17th, as companies ramped up for the increased demand, but now that the reality of legalization has sunk in, the legalization jobs surge is on full blast across the Great White North, as The Washington Post reports:

“People see the end of cannabis prohibition and the industry that’s going to emerge out of it as a green rush and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” said Alison McMahon, founder and chief executive of the human resources firm Cannabis at Work. “It’s a chance to be part of history.”

According to Statistics Canada, there were nearly 2,400 people employed by 55 licensed marijuana producers at the end of 2017. Medical cannabis has been legal since 2001, but with the end of a 95-year prohibition on the recreational use of the drug, the number of job vacancies in the multibillion-dollar industry has exploded.

A report from the job-posting site Indeed.ca found that in July 2017 the number of cannabis-related jobs on its site tripled and that searches for the terms “cannabis” and “marijuana” more than quadrupled, compared with the same point the year before. Jobs in the sector run the gamut from budtender to quality assurance specialist to cannabis connoisseur.

The jobs boom has transformed a number of small Canadian cities, such as Smith Falls, Ontario, which is home to the headquarters of cannabis juggernaut Canopy Growth Corp., the first Canadian marijuana firm to list on the New York Stock Exchange (ticker symbol: WEED). Valued at $10 billion, Canopy Growth has created nearly 800 jobs in the city of 9,000 people since it set up shop five years ago in a facility previously occupied by chocolate maker Hershey.

As the cannabis industry grows around the world, more job opportunities will arise, but so will the competition. Once an illegal, in-the-shadows market, cannabis will only move further into the mainstream, attracting top-notch talent across many industry sectors, from those familiar to cultivating grapes to techies experienced in computer programming and developing apps.

One way to attract talent and meet prospective employers is to attend the International Cannabis Business Conference which not only helps educate attendees on the most important information and trends of the day, but also provides the best networking opportunities for those in the industry, or thinking of joining. Don’t miss your chance to interact with top investors, entrepreneurs, and potential employees at the next ICBC in San Francisco on February 7-8, 2019. Be sure to purchase your early-bird tickets by January 18th to save.