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Michigan cannabis is having no problem finding workers

Industries like hospitality are struggling to entice its workforce back post-pandemic, but Michigan’s burgeoning cannabis sector is alluring to workers eager to leave shrinking industries like the automotive sector to try something new, reports the Detroit Free Press.

“I’ve been in the doom and gloom,” said Jerome Crawford, a former senior corporation counsel in the auto industry. He left in November to be the director of legal operations and social equity at Pleasantrees, a cannabis company. “With cannabis, there’s upside. Sure, there’s a risk. Maybe a company makes it and maybe it doesn’t. But that’s intriguing.”

Going after personal growth

Cannabis sometimes offers higher starting salaries and potential for accelerated career advancement, said Sloane Barbour of FlowerHire, a cannabis recruitment company. 

“Post-pandemic, people don’t want to return to a dead-end job. They want something that has career growth, that’s new and that really resonates with their values.”

By the numbers 

Among all states where cannabis is legal, Michigan’s nearly $3.2 billion market was the sixth largest-employer according to Leafly’s 2020 jobs report. The number of jobs in cannabis nearly doubled last year, bringing the total to about 18,078.

“Over the last four years, the actual growth we’ve seen is 161%,” said the report’s author Bruce Barcott. He said Leafly predicts Michigan’s jobs market to increase by 60% in the next decade.

Still some challenges

While there are plenty of applicants to jobs, Krys Wdowiak of Mary Jane’s Friends & Co. said not all will follow through on an interview or job offer. And sometimes, applicants mistakenly think they can smoke weed on the job.

“One of the questions I ask is, ‘Why do you want to work for us,’” he said. “And the feedback that we get most of the time is, ‘I love weed.’ As blunt as that.”

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