April 2021: About 650k Americans quit their retail jobs – the highest number of quits ever recorded by the Labor Department in a single month. Some former employees have found new jobs at insurance agencies, banks and local government offices, but others are finding work in expanding cannabis industry. Before the pandemic, retailers and restaurant owners had no problem finding employees willing to work long hours for low pay.
According to an annual job report (2021) by Leafly and Whitney Economics, the US Cannabis industry currently employs more than 321k full-timeworker – twice as many as it did in 2018! Kara Bradford (Chief Executive of cannabis recruiting firm Viridian Staffing) said to the Washington Post, “There has been a seismic shift of workers from retail and restaurants to cannabis, […] There is a sense that this is a booming industry that’s fun and interesting, with a lot of opportunities to move up quickly.”
Other major companies outside the cannabis industry are also trying to attract new employees by abandoning zero-tolerance policies for cannabis in the workplace. Most notably, this spring Amazon stopped conducting pre-employment and random cannabis drug tests for its employees. Since then, the mega-corporation has invited former employees who were fired for smoking pot to reapply and asked its delivery partners to stop testing their own employees for marijuana.