This is part two of a series about the role of Cannabis in Industry 4.0. click here to read part one, which covers how hemp can be a super companion crop of the future.
Budding Opportunities for Cannabis
Despite protests from the federal government, the medical and recreational marijuana industry is continuing to grow and expand, creating thousands of jobs for people every year.
Marijuana Business Daily reports that the industry already employs 100,000 to 150,000 workers, and they project that the number will increase to 300,000 by 2020. These workers report a high level of job satisfaction. The increase of employment opportunities and new job titles is providing an economic boon to states. What’s more is that the one year’s cannabis industry taxes have provided millions of dollars for educational investment in Colorado alone.
The female strain of cannabis sativa is what produces the psychoactive THC used by medical and recreational consumers. Hemp, derived from the male strain of the plant, has fibers stronger than bamboo.
Hemp is also making a comeback due to fewer regulations on this controversial product. Hemp production is being encouraged even more in the US due to the exceptional strength and versatility that the fibers made from the plant exhibit. Cultivating the crop requires less water than cotton, and it is generally a more environmentally friendly alternative to plastic manufacturing.
Here are just a few jobs the cannabis industry helped create:
Stores hire sales associates, aka “budtenders,” in addition to managers that perform data entry and do administrative work for the business.
Medical and recreational cannabis growers employ “trimmers” to harvest and trim buds by hand. More specialized, skilled growers are employed to install and manage a complicated growing and curing process.
3. Manufacturing Operations
Several different kinds of workers are needed for the successful distribution of edibles. From top to bottom, dispensaries and manufacturers need staff to work on the floor, janitorial staff, bakers and candy makers, quality control, and machine operators.
4. Security Guards
Guards are necessary for dispensaries to keep up with strict regulations. As the recreational business is cash only, large sums travel from the dispensary through private security firms. In many places where the drug is legal, the federal banks are hesitant to deal with the money involved because of fears of legal ramifications.
In many places where the drug is legal, the federal banks are hesitant to deal with the money involved because of fears of legal ramifications. Laws are becoming less severe, but still, it is often up to distributors to figure out ways to store and manage their income without traditional banking.
5. Real-estate Agents
Both industrial and commercial real estate have seen a rise in purchases thanks to the industry. These are often tricky deals as, again, the transactions are cash only.
6. Construction and HVAC Specialists
Most cultivation in Colorado takes place indoors, meaning that this is a great opportunity for builders of all kinds.