Article by Emily Gray Brosious, Extract
More than 122,000 people are employed full-time in legal marijuana-related jobs, according to the latest estimates from Leafly.
Those numbers should come as welcome news to cannabis industry members concerned over how the next presidential administration plans to enforce federal pot laws in states that have already legalized the drug for recreational or medical use. After all, job creation was one of President-elect Donald Trump’s main campaign platforms, and cracking down on state marijuana businesses at this point would put a lot of people out of work.
Legal marijuana sales totaled approximately $6.7 billion across North America in 2016, according to recent data released by cannabis industry data and analysis firm Arcview Market Research. The company projects annual sales will hit $20.2 billion by 2021, and if that pans out, America’s legal-marijuana job market may soon be ripe with opportunities.
Since the Bureau of Labor Statistics doesn’t recognize state-legal cannabis jobs as legitimate employment, and doesn’t tally them in its annual National Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates report, Leafly researched, analyzed and estimated cannabis industry employment numbers for each of the 29 states where the drug is legal for medical or recreational use.
The lion’s share of full-time cannabis industry jobs are in California; which boasts the largest population and economic footprint of any U.S. state, and was the first to pass medical marijuana legislation back in 1996.