A dispensary worker stuffs pre-rolled joints over a rolling tray in the back of a Portland, Oregon dispensary.

Amarett Jans

Study: Cannabis Industry Employees More Optimistic About Employers than Rest of U.S. Workers

According to a study from PayScale, cannabis industry employees are more optimistic about the future of their employers than the rest of the U.S. workforce. The study, based on nearly 500 salary profiles from individuals working in both medical and recreational cannabis businesses, found that 68 percent of cannabusiness employees “believe their employers have a bright future” compared to 59 percent of Americans from Sept. 2015 to Sept. 2017, according to an outline of the data by the News Tribune.  

The researchers also reviewed median annual incomes for cannabis industry employees and found the average budtender makes $28,300 per year with a median $98 per week in tips, medical cannabis cultivators earn $38,000 per year, operations managers make $43,500 per year, and retail store managers make $44,000 annually.

Comparatively, according to PayScale data, the median annual salary for a bartender, including tips, is $29,271; the median salary for non-cannabis retail store managers is $45,116; and the median wage for brewers ranges from $34,125 to $46,933 depending on experience and title.

“The only caveat is that regulations do differ by state and, from what PayScale can tell, within a state between retail and medical, so these differing restrictions could potentially affect wages.”

PayScale’s data does not include state-by-state breakdowns due to the limited figures available.

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