New data shows cannabis industry salaries up across the board

Twitter icon

California-based CannabizTeam has released its 2021 salary guide and the data shows that salaries for more than 60 popular positions within the sector have seen a salary bump over the past year.

The guide is focused on the U.S. industry across 36 states and hypothesizes that the sector could support 500,000 full-time jobs and top $35 billion in annual sales within the next three years.

“The cannabis industry proved its strength and resiliency in 2020 and enters 2021 as the fastest-growing industry in the United States,” said Liesl Bernard, CEO of CannabizTeam. The guide relies on proprietary salary data from the CannabizTeam, as well as surveys and independent research.

The positions are broken down into 10 categories, including cultivation, extraction, testing, retail, manufacturing, distribution, sales and marketing.

Executives and managers experienced the biggest increase in salary range, with many positions seeing double-digit increases.

In 2020, the median salary for cannabis CEOs was US$315,450 ($383,185). In 2021, that has increased 11 per cent to US$350,300 ($425,518).

The next highest-paid position belongs to chief financial officers, who saw a 10 per cent increase year-over-year, boosting the median salary from US$318,000 ($386,000) to US$348,500 ($423,331).

Of the positions listed, the smallest increase went to event managers, whose median salary was bumped up 3 per cent, from US$68,000 ($82,600) to US$70,000 ($85,030).

California, Colorado and Florida were cited as the largest employers in the industry, creating nearly 125,000 full-time jobs and netting more than US$7 billion ($8.5 billion) in combined sales.

“Salaries continue to increase above cost of living index due to competition and a shortage of employees with specialized cannabis experience or specific transferable skills,” the report notes, adding that multi-state operators are increasingly recruiting from other industries, such as pharma and tech.

A report published earlier this year titled The Golden Cushion that focuses on Canada’s top-paid CEOs listed four cannabis executives. According to that report, on average, the top-100 CEOs made 202 times what the average Canadian worker earned.

The report cites Aphria’s Irwin D. Simon as the top-earning Canadian cannabis CEO and seventh highest-earning CEO in the country. Simon received more than $18 million in total compensation. He was followed by Michael Gorenstein, CEO of Cronos Group Inc., who earned more than $15 million in total compensation.

Rounding out the field was Bruce Linton, who posted $9.3 million in total compensation with Canopy Growth Corp. in 2019, and Hexo Corp. CEO Sebastien St- Louis, whose total compensation amounted to $8.5 million.

2020 report published by Toronto-based Bedford Consulting Group cited former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, who joined Acreage Holdings in 2018, as one of the highest-earning directors working in the cannabis sector.

His total compensation, including base salary, annual bonus, equity (share-based awards and options-based awards) and pension, was reported to be $13,913,873.

e-mail icon Facebook icon Twitter icon LinkedIn icon Reddit icon
Rate this article: 
Regional Marijuana News: