Compensation and Equity

Rising Executive Salaries Reflect Growth in the Cannabis Industry

Cannabis Executive Salaries on the Rise

The cannabis industry is experiencing a notable surge in executive salaries, reflecting its robust growth and heightened demand for top-tier talent. Recent data reveals that executive pay has notably increased by 4.7%, outpacing the average non-executive salary increase of 4.1%. This trend underscores the significant economic expansion within the sector.

Leading the Pack: CEO and Other High-Paying Roles

Top executives within the cannabis industry are seeing substantial compensation increments, particularly at the largest companies by revenue. Chief executive officers (CEOs) at these firms have seen their base salaries surpass the $400,000 mark, with an average annual salary of $416,000. Alongside CEOs, other high-ranking roles are also financially rewarding. Chief financial officers (CFOs) earn an average of $396,469, while presidents report earnings of $368,372. Similarly, chief revenue officers (CROs) and chief marketing officers (CMOs) have average salaries of $339,236 and $338,195, respectively.

In contrast, lower management and support roles receive comparatively modest compensation. Production supervisors, for example, average a salary of $44,747, while accounts receivable leads and executive assistants earn $56,192 and $57,233, respectively. This disparity highlights the steep pay gradient between executive and non-executive positions.

Hiring and Salary Trends

The bullish outlook on industry expansion is further evidenced by hiring trends, with 86% of cannabis companies planning to recruit new talent in 2024. This hiring spree reflects the industry’s ongoing boom and the burgeoning demand for skilled professionals. Meanwhile, several key positions have seen notable salary increases, including roles such as VP of Fulfillment, Master Grower, Controller, Brand Manager, B2B Sales Manager, Recruiter, and Production Supervisor.

Benefits remain a critical factor in job satisfaction and employee retention within the cannabis sector. An industry survey indicates that two-thirds of employees would consider switching jobs for better benefits, emphasizing the importance of comprehensive compensation packages in attracting and retaining top talent.

Regionally, the salary landscape varies, with the average cannabis salary in Florida standing at $44.79 an hour or $93,153 per year. In comparison, the broader industry’s average compensation in Florida is $32.77 an hour or $68,159 annually. Moreover, ForceBrands has initiated a 2024 National Cannabis Industry Salary Survey to provide updated insights into salary trends and standard compensation practices across the nation, likely to further inform the industry’s strategic human resources planning.

James Rutherford

James Rutherford, MBA, is a renowned expert in executive compensation within the cannabis industry. With over fifteen years of experience in corporate finance and human resources, James has become a leading voice in the intersection of executive pay and emerging markets. He earned his MBA from Stanford Graduate School of Business, where he focused on strategic management and organizational behavior. James has held senior positions in several Fortune 500 companies before transitioning to the cannabis sector, where he identified a critical need for specialized knowledge in executive compensation. He currently serves as a consultant for numerous cannabis companies, helping them design competitive and compliant compensation packages that attract top talent while aligning with industry regulations. In addition to his consultancy work, James frequently writes for industry publications and is a sought-after speaker at conferences and seminars. His insights have been instrumental in shaping compensation strategies that support the growth and sustainability of cannabis businesses.