Recent American job losses have been staggering, and have cut across nearly every industry. Yet according to a recent Politico Pro article (subscription required), some cannabis companies are bucking the trend and continuing to grow and hire.
The article cites numerous examples. Green Leaf Medical, which operates in Maryland (a medical-only state), is adding 300 workers to its cultivation and dispensary operations. Trulieve is adding 250 retail workers in Florida, another medical-only state. Cresco, a multi-state operator based in Illinois, is hiring 250 employees as it continues to grow in the Illinois recreational market. The article also highlighted smaller operators in Colorado and Florida that are seeking to hire.
Part of this hiring is attributable to natural growth; new cannabis markets across the country are coming online and existing markets are continuing to mature. As this happens, there is a substantial need for new workers. Another factor is that several state governments have deemed the cannabis industry to be “essential,” meaning that cultivation centers and stores remain open for business. There is also hope that this is an indicator that the cannabis industry may prove to be recession-proof, like alcohol, with demand remaining strong even as consumers cut back on other expenditures.
On a less optimistic note, if there was already going to be natural growth, it is possible that the growth would have been even more substantial but for the ongoing pandemic. And it is unclear whether job losses will be a lagging indicator. As we wrote about here and here, sales were strong as the crisis began, but started to level out and fall in certain places in April. If there is a downward trend in sales, job losses will likely not be far behind.
These are strange times for the cannabis industry, and the world at large. We are encouraged that cannabis companies do not appear to be shying away from adding jobs and growing despite the challenges. We hope that continues. Please follow our blog for continued updates on the cannabis industry, including developments related to the coronavirus. Also, visit our COVID-19 Resource Center for up-to-date information to help you stay informed of the legal issues related to COVID-19.