New Mexico Cannabis Industry Offers Higher Wages, Attracts Workers from Other Sectors, Says Labor Report

New Mexico Cannabis Industry Sparks Wage Growth and Cross-Sector Migration, Labor Report Finds

In a recent report released by the New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions, it has been revealed that joining the state’s legal cannabis industry proves to be a lucrative move for wage earners. With the keyphrase “cannabis ” at the forefront, the report highlights how workers in the cannabis sector typically experience higher earnings compared to their previous non-marijuana jobs.

As of the end of 2022, the legal marijuana industry in New Mexico had provided opportunities to 4,666 individuals, with nearly 90% of them working in the retail sector. The report emphasizes the significance of the cannabis market, with over $300 million in sales of recreational cannabis recorded during its first year of legal sales to adults. Additionally, medical marijuana receipts accounted for an additional $187.4 million.

Although the average weekly wages for cannabis workers at the end of 2022 were $560, lower than many other industries, the report highlights that employees who transitioned to the marijuana industry saw an increase in their average weekly wage compared to their previous jobs. This wage growth, as indicated by the report, could be one of the primary reasons why individuals opted to leave their previous employment and join the cannabis industry.

Analyzing the wage records of cannabis workers, the report reveals that approximately one-third of them came from other industries. Among these individuals, the highest share hailed from the trade, transportation, and utilities sector, followed by leisure and hospitality, and health services, and professional and business services. Additionally, the report that a quarter of the workers had no reported wage data, suggesting they may have moved from another state, just graduated, or were self-employed. Notably, around 40% of wage records were from existing cannabis firms, indicating that individuals were already employed in the industry.

The state of New Mexico witnessed 151 operating cannabis firms during the fourth quarter of 2022. Of these, 74.2% comprised retail stores or online platforms, while 21 firms were engaged in cultivation and growing activities. Additionally, there were 10 processing firms, four wholesalers, and four firms involved in unspecified activities. Most of these businesses were concentrated around populous areas, with Bernalillo County, home to Albuquerque, hosting nearly one-third of the cannabis firms.

Similar discussions on marijuana sales have been observed in neighboring states such as , where adult-use cannabis purchases reached a year-end total of $1.4 billion in 2022. Massachusetts, which launched its recreational market in 2018, officially surpassed $4 billion in sales in January. Conversely, a recent legislative analysis in revealed that the state lost over $121 million to Illinois due to the absence of a regulated market, prompting Wisconsin residents to spend on marijuana across state borders.

Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham expressed excitement about the future prospects of the innovative and safe adult-use cannabis industry in New Mexico. Moreover, the Regulation and Licensing Department Superintendent, Linda Trujillo, expressed optimism regarding the anticipated growth in the industry’s second year. The governor’s recent signing of a bill to automatically expunge past cannabis crimes demonstrates the state’s commitment to progressive policies, although a separate measure aimed at halting the incarceration of individuals for certain drug offenses was vetoed.

Additionally, state have advanced a bill to establish a state body that would explore the feasibility of implementing a psilocybin therapy program for with specific mental health conditions, leveraging the potential benefits of psychedelics. Furthermore, the state’s medical marijuana program has recently expanded to include insomnia as a qualifying condition.

The labor report’s findings reinforce the positive impact of the cannabis industry on wages and labor migration in New Mexico. With cannabis wage growth attracting workers from various sectors, the state’s thriving marijuana market continues to pave the way for economic opportunities and innovative developments.

Malvin Felix
I'm Malvin, a cannabis news enthusiast who finds joy in staying updated about the latest industry trends. My passion led me to become a dedicated writer, entrepreneur, and investor in the cannabis space. Through my writing, I aim to educate and spark discussions, while my entrepreneurial ventures and strategic investments reflect my commitment to driving positive change in the industry.

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