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2020 Cannabis Industry Salary Trends & Observations

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The number of cannabis industry employees in the U.S. is expected to rise to around 300,000, according to a report from Marijuana Business Daily. That is roughly a 50% increase compared to the employee numbers in 2019. Sustained growth in sales, specifically in the adult-use cannabis markets, will continue to nurture the industry and help it grow. To help you gain an edge in your cannabis career or business, we’ve put together some of the cannabis industry salary trends and observations for 2020. 

Despite the detrimental effects of the pandemic on the economy, the cannabis industry continues to find ways to survive and even thrive. CannabizTeam released its very first salary guide early this year. However, the world has changed considerably since February. So, our team feels it’s only right to update the salary guide with the 2020 Q1 and Q2 data. The updated guide features salaries for 50+ positions in cannabis, hiring trends, cannabis legalization maps, and even a limited-time special discount code for Green Flower Media‘s cannabis certificate programs. To give you a quick sample of the comprehensive information in the updated version, we’re presenting several interesting cannabis industry salary trends and observations. 

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2020 Cannabis Industry Salary Guide Q3 Update

Largest Growth In Median Salary

With the pandemic forcing everyone to social distance and handle business virtually, the cannabis industry pivoted to digital storefronts. As the cannabis industry is now essential, e-commerce has been pivotal to the sustained growth of the space. And, with more people experiencing anxiety and depression due to the drastic changes of living in the past months, cannabis and CBD products are more sought-after. So, it’s no surprise that the E-commerce Manager position has the highest growth in median salary from 2019 to 2020. In 2019, the median salary of an E-commerce Manager was over $150,000. Looking at the data from Q1 and Q2 of 2020, the number jumped to over $164,000. 

Most Lucrative Cannabis Position In 2020

Considering all the cannabis industry salary trends, people are always curious about the most lucrative position. There are many profitable occupations in the cannabis industry. However, it’s no surprise that the most gainful role on the list is the Chief Executive Officer position. For Q1 and Q2 of 2020, a high salary for a CEO in cannabis is upwards of $400,000. And, on the low end, cannabis CEOs earn a salary of over $220,000. Business leaders from a variety of industries, including biotech, food and beverage, and retail, are transitioning to the cannabis industry. Chief Financial Officers are right behind CEOs on the list of most lucrative cannabis positions in 2020 so far. 

Cannabis Industry Sector With Highest Median Salary Average

Out of all the cannabis industry verticals in the updated cannabis industry salary guide report, the accounting and finance sector has the highest median average. The average median salary for accounting and finance positions is over $284,000. Proper accounting is crucial for any cannabis business. Cannabis organizations are being audited regularly, and non-compliant companies could face legal fees, back taxes, or even lawsuits. A candidate looking to handle the books for a cannabis company should be experienced in cost, accrual, and absorption accounting, as well as Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP). Cannabis industry accountants and financing specialists are essential, as they help businesses maintain their licenses and funding. 

Position With Biggest Difference Between Low And High Salaries

There are over 50 positions in CannabizTeam’s 2020 cannabis industry salary guide. And, the position with the largest disparity between low and high salaries is that of the CEO with a difference of $175,000. Following the CEO position are the roles of Chief Financial Officer ($140,000) and Director of Operations ($95,000). Salary ranges are set up by individual employers who recognize the level of experience, education, and applicable skills for each role. Additionally, market pay rates for similar roles in related industries within the same region of the country influence salary ranges. In general, executive or c-level positions have the widest range of salary. And, lower-level positions have the narrowest range of salary. Looking at all the cannabis industry salary trends and observations, this isn’t the most surprising. However, it’s beneficial to know that cannabis c-level roles have wide salary ranges just like any other industry. 

Entry-Level Cannabis Jobs

Some of the most popular entry-level cannabis jobs are budtender, driver, trimmer, and extraction technician. Median salaries have increased steadily for all four entry-level positions since 2019. However, the biggest bump up in salary is for the Extraction Technician position with an 11% increase. Although the Extraction Technician role isn’t typically considered to be an entry-level cannabis job, it can be if you have education and/or experience in chemistry or science. It’s the starting role on the path to becoming a Master Extractor, which is one of the highest-paying cannabis jobs in the industry today. Cannabis temp jobs, which can also be considered entry-level positions, are also in high demand. Temp employees are incredible options for cannabis companies adjusting to new regulations, dealing with health-related absences, or trying to manage a spike in sales. 

More Cannabis Salary Trends 

Our updated cannabis industry salary guide is available today. So, you can study it for even more cannabis industry salary trends. Download your free copy and gain more knowledge about cannabis industry salaries, hiring trends, popular jobs, legalization outlook, and more. 

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