U.S. traditional retail suffered a number of wounds in 2018.
Bankruptcies, sales declines and share price tumbles made headlines for the sector. Tragically, those led to increased job losses.
Job cuts in the U.S. in 2018 grew 29% to more than 538,000, led by the struggling retail sector.
In fact, in January, U.S. retailers announced they were cutting more than 22,000 positions. That was a 45% increase over January 2018’s announced cuts.
And we saw similar tales of woe from places like home retailer Lowe’s (NYSE: LOW), which cut 50,000 seasonal workers, 10,000 permanent positions and 6,000 managers.
U.S. retail is undergoing a transformation… in more ways than one.
Yes, brick-and-mortar can’t compete with the likes of e-commerce stars Amazon (Nasdaq: AMZN), Etsy (Nasdaq: ETSY) and Wayfair (NYSE: W).
But there’s a booming industry swooping in to provide some relief: cannabis.
It now employs more than 121,000 full-time workers and another 50,000 indirect full-time hires. By 2021, this industry’s total employment should top 414,000. That’s more than a 100% increase.
This year alone, global revenue is expected to jump 39% to $17 billion.
2018 was a breakout year for the pot industry. The number of active U.S. marijuana licenses surged more than 82% to 17,350. Distributor and cultivator licenses led the charge…
As you can see, dispensary licenses also spiked 45%.
In Colorado, one of the more mature adult-use markets in the U.S., there are now twice as many marijuana dispensaries as Starbucks (Nasdaq: SBUX) and McDonald’s (NYSE: MCD) locations combined.
Dispensary workers, or “budtenders,” are making between $12 and $15 per hour. Entry-level cultivation jobs pay the same.
But in retail, the median hourly wage is just $11.16.
Meanwhile, head growers at cannabis cultivators are making between $100,000 and $120,000 per year. That’s almost equal to the median midcareer salary at Adobe (Nasdaq: ADBE) or Amazon!
Clearly cannabis is booming – and so are jobs in the industry.
More importantly, cannabis companies are offering competitive salaries.
As pot rapidly expands across the U.S., budtenders are becoming the new baristas.
Here’s to high returns,
Source: Energy & Resources Digest