Average ‘cannabis CEO’ earns $285,113 a year, says marijuana industry analysis

April 8, 2019

Legalization of medical and recreational marijuana in many states has created a salary boom for the executives behind the business and commerce of the emerging field.

Marijuana Business Magazine reported that the “average cannabis CEO” earns $285,113. some $89,000 more than the typical “mainstream CEO,” who earns $196,050. That’s 45 percent difference, the industry publication said.

The magazine’s analysis is based on findings from four different staffing companies and Bureau of Labor statistics.

Other professions appear to be flourishing as well. The magazine also found that legal marijuana dispensary managers earn 37 percent more than liquor store managers while “budtenders” earn an average of 23 percent more than bartenders.

The drivers behind such salaries include a tight labor market nationwide and a labor environment that requires marijuana companies “to compensate employees handsomely to keep them onboard and a willingness to dole out stock options,” the analysis said.

The California-based publication also advises that some states pay more than others.

“Cannabis jobs in Maryland consistently pay more than other states in all categories for which Marijuana Business Magazine collected data. Maryland’s medical marijuana industry raked in nearly $100 million in its first year of operations more than the combined first year medical sales in Illinois, Massachusetts and New York,” the magazine said.