Legalization means new top jobs for New Yorkers, from Bud Trimmers to Master Extractors

New York doesn’t look or smell any different since the state legalized adult cannabis in April. New Yorkers are still puffing openly on the sidewalks, just as before. But big changes are coming. Legalization is supposed to produce not only truckloads of legal weed, but tens of thousands of legitimate jobs as well. New York, badly hit by the coronavirus pandemic, could use job creation, and legalization could be its timely windfall for mass employment in the form of pot jobs for New Yorkers.

Governor Andrew Cuomo estimated that legalizing recreational activities would “eventually” create 30,000 to 60,000 jobs. He didn’t explain on the timeline. However, a February New School economic report estimates that legalizing adult use will create 50,806 jobs in New York by fiscal 2027, with retail sales of $ 2.6 billion.

These jobs range from bud trimmers and bud tenders to higher paid specialists like chemists, botanists, engineers, and master extractors.

Weed extraction is not just a pipe dream. The Empire State is already showing signs of economic recovery due to cannabis. Green Thumb Industries, a multi-billion dollar cannabis company from Chicago, has bought a former prison in Warwick and plans to turn it into a cannabis manufacture. Warwick is about 50 miles from New York City in an area where the Appalachian Trail winds through fields, forests and hills on its way to Bear Mountain.

“We lost 450 jobs when the state closed the prison in 2011,” said Warwick Town Supervisor Michael P. Sweeton. “GTI has pledged to invest $ 150 million and create 175 jobs in a 400,000 square meter facility. We appreciate your investment in our community and the employment potential of our residents. “

According to Jen Dooley, GTI’s Chief Strategy Officer, the project will create 100 employees and “hundreds of construction jobs” in the first phase, growing to 175 employees over four years. Jobs range from cultivation to administration to laboratory work. GTI receives a 15-year tax reduction under the contract.

Hundreds of New Yorker pot jobs available soon

There are 10 licensed cannabis companies in the New York Medical Program, including multi-state operators Curaleaf, Citiva, Columbia Care, MedMen, Acreage, PharmaCann, Valley Agriceuticals, Etain, Vireo Health, and Fiorella, which are owned by GTI. Each of these companies has one production license and four pharmacy licenses, which means 10 manufacturers and 40 pharmacies are located across the state and serve approximately 148,000 patients.

Hillary Peckham, Etain’s chief operating officer, said the current regulations would allow any company to add four adult pharmacies, so Etain could employ 20 to 40 people in New York, with 60 or 70 employees allowing the state to expand Cultivation and manufacture. Your company could potentially add hundreds of hot New York jobs. Jobs start at $ 15 to $ 30 an hour, and chemical and engineering managers and specialists could hit six-figure amounts.

Albe Zakes, vice president of corporate communications at Vireo Health, said his company employs 112 people but plans to add 250 more for adults. He said the jobs would include growing and processing technology specialists, packaging teams, research and development teams, retailers, delivery drivers and security guards. He said pay will start at $ 18 an hour for retail and $ 21 an hour for grow and manufacture.

Patrik Jonsson, Regional President for the East of Curaleaf, His company plans to create hundreds of 220 new jobs in New York as it expands to adult use. He said the jobs would be in retail, cultivation and manufacturing. Curaleaf, which employs 4,600 people nationwide, did not provide any information about pay.

The demand for adult cannabis is expected to exceed the existing infrastructure of 40 pharmacies in a state of 20 million people. Small businesses are ready to fill the vacuum. Allan Gandelman, President of the hemp manufacturing company Head and Heal and The president of the New York Cannabis Growers and Processors Association said he currently employs 40 people in Cortland, near Ithaca, but expects 50 to 100 workers as he expands into the adult sector. These jobs would include cultivation, trimming, manufacturing, packaging, sales and customer service “up to managerial positions.” he said. Entry-level compensation is $ 14.50 an hour, he said, with the highest-paying positions in lab work, extraction, sales, graphics, and design.

Kaelan Castetter, CEO of the hemp grower Empire Standard / Castetter Cannabis Group, has 15 full-time employees in Binghamton and expands to 70 seasonal employees during the hemp harvest. With adult use, he anticipates growth to 80-100 full-time employees in fertilization teams, trimming, manufacturing, packaging and shipping, as well as senior executives such as directors in branding, manufacturing and quality assurance.

“We plan to grow our jobs significantly, especially if we get a license,” he said.

Cuomo’s estimate of job creation related to jobs directly involved in the cultivation, production, delivery, logistics, or retailing of cannabis. It is the difference between the cultivator who works in the greenhouse and the contractor who builds the greenhouse. However, part-time jobs could exceed the number of plant-touching jobs. These include web designers, human resources, compliance officers, lawyers, public relations managers, copywriters, carpenters, electricians, security guards, security camera installers, solar panel installers, greenhouse sprinkler installers, etc.

Morgan Fox, director of media relations for the National Cannabis Industry Association, estimated that the number of side jobs, from “plumbers to programmers” could double the number of direct jobs.

David Holland, co-founder of the New York cannabis industry and legal director of Empire State NORML, estimates that part-time jobs could be five or six times the number of direct jobs.

“I don’t think people are really responsible for how big this population will be,” he said. “It’s not a ripple effect. It’s a tidal wave. “

Colorado, the first state to legalize adult use in 2012, has enjoyed economic benefits that may not just double for farmers and retailers in other states. Jay Czarkowski, founding partner and CEO of Canna Advisors, said so Colorado’s real estate market was “in the tank” when the burgeoning cannabis industry hit, which he blames for dragging real estate out of the recession.

New York is also showing signs of real estate revitalization with GTI’s ex-prison potted plant project. But it is good to remember that the green rush, like the gold rush, is not a guarantee for job seekers.

“They think it’s instant wealth and it’s money up to the elbows,” said Czarkowski. “As in any other industry, there will be those who do well and there will be those who fail. There is no guarantee of success because it is weed. “

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