Marijuana is one of the few sectors of the American economy where the jobs are, but how to find that pot dream job? There's an app, of course.
WeedHire.com, a site that's looking to become the Monster.com of legal marijuana jobs, this week released the world’s first iOS app to help people find a job in the pot industry. The site, launched in May 2014, released an Android version of its app in September.
“Marijuana is not that different than other industries, and it’s not just about the plant. There’s a need for people to work in accounting, finance, legal, HR, etc.,” said David Bernstein, a former electronic-waste executive who founded WeedHire.com.
It’s not clear how many jobs marijuana has created since 2012 when Colorado became the first of a growing number of U.S. states to legalize recreational pot. Now four U.S. states — Colorado, Washington, Alaska and Oregon — and the District of Columbia have legalized recreational marijuana and nearly two dozen states have legalized medical marijuana.
At the end of 2014, 15,992 people were licensed to work in the marijuana industry in Colorado alone, an increase of 143% over the previous year. Colorado began issuing two-year occupational licenses for marijuana business workers in 2011.
Meanwhile, a number of services to match jobseekers with employers have sprung up. Weedhire.com currently boasts 8,000 registered users, and there are at least two other marijuana jobs sites out there: Cannajobs.com and420careers.com.
Advertising on the sites has been free, but Weedhire.com this week began charging employers $4.20 for a 30-day job posting. 420careers.com doesn't charge for basic postings, but does charge $25 to feature job ads.
"The first few months were slow, but now we're seeing the industry grow really quickly," said Dan Kingston, a co-founder of 420careers.com, which launched in January 2014.
A recent report from The ArcView Group, a cannabis research and investment firm, dubbed legal marijuana the fastest-growing industry in the U.S. and valued it at $2.4 billion in 2014 — the year legal, recreational marijuana sales first started in Colorado. ArcView is expecting the industry to grow by another 32% this year.
Right now, there are just over 1,200 job postings on WeedHire.com. Among them: chief operating officer for Bob Marley’s namesake marijuana brand, epidemiologists to work for state governments in Washington and Arizona and dozens of "budtender" positions.
In case you were wondering, budtenders work behind counters helping customers select strains and other marijuana-based products. Epidemiologists are being sought to collect and evaluate data to guide policy decisions.
An epidemiology job posting for the Washington State Liquor Control Board boasts a salary equal to at least $60,000 per year, but some jobs come with six-figure annual salaries. Jobs working for state governments or working in lab testing or growing are particularly lucrative, Bernstein said.
LIke others in the industry, he only expects the number of jobs available in the marijuana industry to rise.
“We don’t know how many jobs could be created in the sector, but I would venture to guess 100,000 — double if you count ancillary businesses,” he said.