Dec 11, 2018

Why Executives are Quitting Their Jobs to Join the Cannabis Industry

Have you heard about well-positioned executives leaving their secure jobs to join the cannabis industry? Is this happening in your city, and your state?

Do you know why it is happening?

Learn more about executive search in the cannabis industry. reported, “According to ArcView Market Research and its research partner BDS Analytics, over the next 10 years, spending on legal cannabis worldwide is expected to hit $57 billion by 2027.The adult-use (recreational) market will cover 67% of the spending; medical marijuana will take up the remaining 33%.”

Forbes also stated that” The largest group of cannabis buyers will be in North America, going from $9.2 billion in 2017 to $47.3 billion a decade later.

CEO of ArcView, Troy Dayton, believes that U.S. federal laws will legalize marijuana after the 2020 presidential election, according to

Salaries and other Compensation in the Industry Growing

With medical marijuana legal in 33 states and recreational in 10, many roles in the cannabis industry need to be filled. So far, the industry has been credited for creating well over 100,000 full-time employees in the United States, according to

A new report from New Frontier Data projects that by 2020 the legal cannabis market will create more than a quarter of a million jobs. This is more than the expected jobs from manufacturing, utilities or even government jobs, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (“BLS”). The BLS says that by 2024 manufacturing jobs are expected to decline by 814,000; utilities will lose 47,000 jobs and government jobs will decrease by 383,000. This dovetails with data that suggests the fastest-growing industries are all healthcare related, reported.

As one would expect in a burgeoning industry, salaries are also increasing fast due to the legalization of cannabis.

Market Watch reported: “While average salary of cannabis positions increased 16.1% between 2017 and 2018. The most hired positions in the legal cannabis industry include director of extraction, director of cultivation, compliance manager, trimmer, budtender, dispensary store manager and outside sales representative. Director of cultivation had the largest annual salary range, which is between USD 45,000 to USD 250,500,” stated Market Watch.

Green Rush Daily reported:

On average, here are the percentages of cannabis companies providing their employees with benefits:

  • 71% offer medical coverage
  • 51% provide dental coverage
  • 46% offer vision coverage
  • 46% offer all three

Of the cannabis employers surveyed, only 21 percent did not provide any employee benefits.

Executives are joining the industry because they know that as it continues to grow, so will their salaries and bonuses.

Cannabis Industry Offers Challenges

Why would an executive leave an established firm to join the innovative cannabis industry?

Many of the individuals who are joining the cannabis industry have several characteristics in common: They have strong characters, with resolve, and are motivated to succeed. They are hard-working, and they are up for a challenge. They want to be part of the industry as it grows and evolves.

Nicholas Levich told his story to

“In January of 2014, I said goodbye to my steady paycheck to pursue a career in cannabis. Nearly two years into my first post-college job, I was fresh off a raise and the youngest licensed real estate appraiser at my firm. I already had my own private office — the corporate equivalent of “Look Ma, I made it.’”

However, what was going on with Levich? “Stability, opportunity, and expendable income — benchmarks for financial success that some people would kill for — weren’t enough for me. I wasn’t happy. I’d wake up in the morning, depressed, thinking that no amount of money could motivate me to go to work that day. Something had to change,” he recalled.

Something did change when Levich decided to pursue the cannabis industry at night while working real estate in the daytime. He tested dozens of product ideas, and after exhausting himself from working 24/7, decided to quit his day job.

When he decided to pursue my new business endeavor full time, he recalled, “… one of the executives stepped into my office and asked, ‘Do you even have the skills to do that?’ as if I didn’t have the right to start my own company. That’s when I knew I had made the correct decision,” Levich wrote in

Levich co-founded Black Rock Originals, smell-proof storage for the cannabis aficionado. It creates child safe, lock-compatible bags for storage of cannabis and accessories.

“Unlike my previous job,” admitted Levich, “I have the capacity to shape the emergence of an industry and redefine what it means to be a cannabis user and not a ‘lazy stoner’…. having a hand in this positive change will always be more fulfilling than closing a big deal for a big paycheck.”


With increased legalization of cannabis, job growth will continue to explode.

Analysis from New Frontier Data, a firm that focuses on the marijuana industry, also found that the federal government would create at least $131.8 billion in federal tax revenue over the next eight years if cannabis were legalized in all 50 states.

With federal legalization, there would be 782,000 jobs created, and the firm forecasts that the number would increase to 1.1 million by 2025, including growers and retailers, according to

Learn more about executive search in the cannabis industry.

With so many industries losing jobs, from automotive to steel, it is perhaps ironic that one of the industries that is now providing jobs is one which had to jump through loopholes for legalization and validation of its product. However, isn’t that the American way? Innovation does not evolve from looking backward; it comes as creative people are looking forward. Many in this burgeoning industry couldn’t agree more and are proud to be part of this popular trend. stated, “The alternative culture appeals to many who have no interest in cubicle jobs or working for a big corporate giant. It is increasingly pulling professionals from more traditional industries who are looking for new challenges and different work environments.

“The governments and the programs that they've instilled into these [legalized] states have created great job opportunities and excellent business opportunities for entrepreneurs,” said Mark Lustig, Chief Executive Officer of CannaRoyalty/ Origin House, a fast-growing Cannabis company publicly traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange. “They've created the right competition.”




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