New Jersey media outlets are hosting a virtual job fair to help the state’s adult-use cannabis industry fill thousands of new job positions.
Garden State voters legalized adult-use cannabis retail sales back in 2020, but it took years for the state to finally get its recreational retail market off the ground. And in keeping with the theme of endless delays, the state didn't get around to authorizing its first recreational sales until April 21 – the day after 4/20, the pretty-much-official stoner holiday.
In order to address potential supply chain issues, state regulators awarded the first 13 adult-use retail licenses to existing medical cannabis producers and dispensaries. Last Thursday, twelve of these shops opened for business, and despite long lines and delays, were able to meet the massive demand for legal bud. As the year rolls on, the state hopes to award over a hundred additional adult-use licenses to growers, processors, and retailers.
And as these new businesses start opening their doors, the demand for weed workers will also grow. According to a recent report from Leafly, New Jersey's legal weed industry already employs 3,146 full-time workers, a 24 percent increase over the 785 jobs offered in 2021. New adult-use businesses will create thousands of new jobs as the market matures, including growers, trimmers, processors, lab technicians, compliance and finance officers, budtenders, and more.
The Cannabis Insider Live Virtual Job Fair, hosted by NJ.com and New Jersey Cannabis Insider, is offering prospective weed industry workers a chance to connect with new employers. Job seekers will be able to upload their resumes, browse online exhibitor booths, and chat live with recruiters who are looking to fill upcoming vacancies. Applicants can chat with recruiters from April 26 to April 27, and the virtual exhibition booths will remain online until May 26. At least 200 people are expected to join the event.
“The sooner that you get revenue going through adult-use dispensaries, the more people are going to hire and the more impact you’re going to have,” explained Sloane Barbour, partner at cannabis recruiting agency FlowerHire, to NJ Cannabis Insider. “Every million dollars in legalized cannabis sold in a state creates between 14 and 18 jobs. And in New Jersey, that means you’re going to have 30,000 to 40,000 jobs created based on those numbers, and 60 to 80,000 in New York.”
As of this January, the US cannabis industry employed over 428,000 full-time workers, according to Leafly and Whitney Economics' most recent annual job report. The industry added around 280 jobs a day last year, up 33 percent from 2020, and job growth is tipped to expand even faster this year. In addition to New Jersey, New Mexico also kicked off its adult-use retail industry this month, and Connecticut, New York, and Vermont might just get around to launching their recreational pot markets in 2022 as well.