As of the end of 2022, more than 4,600 workers had joined the cannabis wave in New Mexico, the report notes. Most of those (88.3%) worked in dispensaries.
Dispensaries made up the vast majority of cannabis-related businesses in the state. There are over 100 retail dispensers to every 10 cannabis manufacturers and every 21 cannabis agriculture businesses, according to worker unemployment insurance data.
New Mexico’s cannabis workers come from a wide range of backgrounds, according to the report. While just under 40% of workers came from within the cannabis industry, more than a third came from other jobs, such as construction, mining, hospitality, and business services.
Former restaurant workers, grocers, and retailers make up a significant share of those who entered the cannabis industry in New Mexico. And the Department of Workforce Solutions (DWS) says some now earn higher wages selling bud.
In a group of people tracked by DWS, the average wage they were earning from cannabis was $560 per week by the end of 2022. Foodservice and accommodation jobs, on average, paid only $474 per week, by comparison. “For some people, the grass is greener in the cannabis industry,” the DWS report notes.