There are over 17,000 job positions in eight major cannabis producers in Canada. Experts suggest that this number is likely to increase, as companies are expanding their capacities after Canada become the second country in the world to legalize recreational marijuana in October 2018. For those who don’t know, Canada legalized medical marijuana in 2001.
Last year, the country saw a wave of job openings by the cannabis producers. And as of 2019, this demand is expected to rise as Canada is expanding its legal marijuana products, including concentrates and foodstuffs.
Alison McMahon, founder, and CEO of Cannabis at Work notes that the cannabis industry is lacking experienced candidates to take on a variety of cultivation positions. Therefore, there should be plenty of opportunities for specific workers to make an income that will surpass an average rate. The most experienced growers can make up to $90,000 annually, she added.
Some studies show that the Canadian cannabis trade should provide workers for nearly 150,000 positions in order to allow for the business of recreational weed to work in the non-stop regime. So the cannabis companies are targeting qualified candidates to fill administrative positions, IT, accounting and other production, from seasoned growers to entry-level weed trimmers.
Most of the vacancies were posted in Ontario; after reviewing the website ads (on Indeed) in this province, the most sought-after jobs included maintenance technicians, quality assurance, retail workers, production assistance. Many companies are also looking for nurses connected to the current medical marijuana market.
The Canadian marijuana industry has even hired retired residents. For example, a group of women between the ages 67 and 78 trims cannabis plants several times a week for Acreage Pharms and these ladies often referred as “golden girls”, say they are proud to work in the marijuana industry.
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There were almost 2,400 people hired by 55 licensed marijuana producers by the end of 2017 but in October 2018, the number spiked to 3,500. Even some cities have been given a second life due to jobs increase. For example, Smith Falls (with a population of 9,000), Ontario, where the headquarters of Canopy Growth Corp. – the company’s value is $10 billion and it opened almost 800 jobs in the city last year. At this moment, the company has opened 140 vacancies.
While jobs were production and cultivation positions, the firms began looking for people with marketing and sales experience.
Some Canadian postsecondary institutions are initiating cannabis-associated degrees and training courses to help fill this gap. And in cities, where technology is booming, cannabis companies are also hunting for the best data scientists and engineers that will monitor users’ physical and mental reaction to various different types and doses of the cannabis.
Temporary foreign workers are being hired from countries that have a special agreement with the government of Canada, such as Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, Jamaica, etc.
Temporary workers are allowed to work up to 8 months, from January 1 to December 15, 40 hours per week. They are entitled to the same benefits and rights as Canadian residents working in the same field. Employers are responsible for providing accommodation and covering transportation expenses.
It’s no doubt that Canada is on its way to launching a new industrial upheaval through legal marijuana.