If working in a cubicle behind a computer screen analyzing “big data” is not necessarily your thing, you could always jump into the budding industry of marijuana.
An FKD Feature exclusive

The industry is ripe for the harvest. Opportunities are everywhere, and in an effort to close the ever-widening skills gap prevailing in the modern economy, marijuana industry members and training schools have joined forces.

Weed school

Ah, the entrepreneurial stoner’s dream come true. Cannabis training schools have popped up everywhere since Colorado legalized marijuana at the start of 2014. Denver’s “top online weed school,” Cannabis Training University, offers courses in all aspects of the weed game. From cannabis trimmer and budtender to marijuana career and business training, this institution is a one-stop shop for those wanting to get in the biz.

The older, formal and more established university is Oaksterdam University, out of Oakland, California. Ranked as “the best classroom-style cannabis college winner,” Oaksterdam offers a 14-week semester course, weekend seminars all around the United States and online training as well. Going from a small classroom in 2007 to a sprawling 30,000 square foot campus with multiple classrooms, auditoriums, a grow lab and theater is impressive. They also have satellite campuses popping up in states that are on the brink of legalization.

If you’re really passionate about the herb, you can grab a Bachelor’s of Health Administration with a Specialization in Cannabinoid Therapies or a Bachelor’s of Business with a Specialization in Cannabis Operations that is accredited by the Department of Education. This was part of a joint effort with the Cannabis Career Institute to share the skills that were hidden within the black market.

Marija-wonics

To be sure, this biz is no joke. According to the Marijuana Business Daily, “The marijuana industry is poised to grow by leaps and bounds in 2018, when at least eight of the 11 states that passed significant medical or recreational cannabis measures last year are expected to start sales.”

From the looks of it, gigs in this industry seem to be paying well above the median salary coming out of college. Though trimmers make around $12 to $15 per hour on average, those involved with the cultivation and concentration can make upward of $90,000 per year on average. These training schools may actually pay off.

The Marijuana Policy Group (MPG), created in Colorado to measure how this biz is impacting the economy, estimates that legal demand for marijuana will grow at around 11 percent per year. Keep in mind, though this number is high, it’s only because people have stopped shopping in the black market and have stepped into the light. Recent reports estimate that the industry already employs 100,000 to 150,000 people and will end up employing more than 300,000 people by 2020. The job growth in weed helps make up for the dwindling employment numbers in manufacturing and mining.

The MPG’s model of the economic impact in Colorado serves as a great resource for other states that are considering legalizing this plant. By opening the doors to this industry, we see a classic example of what economists call the multiplier effect. Demand for legal weed shoots up, therefore you have investments by business, which in turn creates a bunch of jobs.

The increased jobs allow for increased spending, spilling over the economic benefits into other markets, creating more jobs and innovation in other markets, thus incentivizing more investments. Real estate, for example, is riding this wave as they help the industry battle the increased rents that come with the surge in demand.

Takeaway

The fact that the marijuana industry is actively involved in teaching the skills necessary to be successful by partnering up with schools should be applauded. However, if talking about your work day as a plant cultivator won’t sit right with you, this industry comes with a plethora of spillover “normal” jobs that can offer a great living. It’s also important to know how this industry is on the brink of disrupting markets, but in a more positive light.

The ongoing debate is conceding to the health benefits the come from medical marijuana. More and more evidence helps show how weed helps many with anxiety issues, epileptic seizures and preventing cancer from spreading, along with a bunch of other benefits.

Perhaps using the “I’m in healthcare” description of your job will be helpful.

Have something to add to this story? Comment below or join the discussion on Facebook.

Header image: Adobe Stock

Author

Posted 04.13.2017 - 03:12 pm EST