Canada’s Cannabis Industry Employment Has Quadrupled In A Year

Canada’s Cannabis Industry Employment Has Quadrupled In A Year

Canada’s cannabis industry is exploding, and the numbers don’t lie. The country’s cannabis industry accounted for only 1,438 jobs in 2017 before soaring. Bloomberg News outlined impressive figures provided by Statistics Canada, but that’s not the whole story. Over the last year, Canadian cannabis-related employment numbers have almost quadrupled — from 2,630 to 9,200 jobs — with 60 percent of those in cultivation, harvesting, processing, administration and manufacturing. 

The Statistics Canada figures were pulled from profiles of federally-licensed cannabis producers. The resulting data outlined employment, inventory levels, sales and other financial metrics in the country’s legal cannabis industry over the past three years. Let’s look at some other data that showcases just what a boom this new industry has been so far.

Assets, Not Profits

Canada’s combined cannabis companies’ assets have climbed steadily, from C$704 million in 2017 to C$2.5 billion in 2018 to C$4.2 billion as of April 2019. 

Assets aren’t the only numbers increasing, either. The number of firms operating in Canada jumped from 83 last year to 175 this year, but profits aren’t guaranteed. Cannabis companies reported losses to Statistics Canada, despite reporting that their revenues rose 92 percent last year and jumped another 52 percent by April 2019.

Hiring Spree

With the increase in the number of cannabis companies comes an increase in the number of cannabis employees. While the number of companies has doubled in the past year, the employment numbers in the industry have almost quadrupled. The growth figures aren’t surprising, given the fact that the new industry required significant hiring in order to meet demand.

Wages, salaries and employee benefits account for about 29 percent of Canada’s cannabis industry expenses, and other burgeoning expense categories include professional and business fees. 

Twenty percent of industry employees work in packaging, marketing, sales and shipping arenas. Quality assurance, engineering, research and development, security and general maintenance employees round out the bunch.

Tax Boom

The tax revenue generated by Canada’s legal cannabis industry is staggering: Statistics Canada reported in June that the nation — in just the first five-and-a-half months of legal sales — earned C$186 million in excise and general taxes on cannabis-related goods and services. 

The resulting trends indicate a plentiful supply of cannabis for the marketplace, too. The nation’s licensed producers had 85,980 pounds of inventory on hand after sales of 101,413 pounds of cannabis over the last fiscal year.

About Brian Ellis

With 6 years' experience in business journalism, Brian is the person we turn to for anything related to the business of cannabis. His news coverage spans topics including marijuana business and finance. Brian's work features on, and