The cannabis marketplace and website Leafly released an annual jobs report on 2/23, declaring that "there has never been a better time to get a job in the legal cannabis industry." The report, developed by Leafly Senior Editor Bruce Barcott and Beau Whitney of Whitney Economics, projects that when cannabis is legalized across the US, the cannabis industry could support up to 1.75 million jobs nationwide.
The report reveals that the cannabis industry now maintains 428,059 full-time jobs in the United States. After adding 32,700 jobs in 2019 and 77,300 jobs in 2020, the industry added another 107,059 new cannabis jobs in 2021. Last year marked the first year that job creation in the cannabis industry hit six figures.
"To put this in perspective, the entire US financial sector added 145,000 jobs last year," Leafly wrote in the report. "The construction industry, from coast to coast, has added 165,000 jobs."
The Cannabis market generates 33% of jobs in a year. The 100,000+ cannabis jobs created in 2021 represent a 33% increase in just one year. Despite the challenges of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, 2021 was the fifth year in a row that the cannabis industry showed an annual growth rate of 27% or more. By comparison, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that job growth in commercial and financial occupations will grow by just 8% over the next decade.
"Despite the ongoing economic and employment challenges presented by the Covid-19 pandemic, the cannabis market remains the most powerful job creator in America – with no other industry even coming close," Leafly said in a statement about its new jobs report from cannabis.
But while cannabis job growth is outpacing all other industries, Leafly CEO Yoko Miyashita noted that the continued illegality of cannabis at the federal level means the industry is largely ignored by federal labour analysts.
"Since 2014, when the country's first adult cannabis stores opened, the industry has created hundreds of thousands of new American jobs – and there is still much more to be created," said Miyashita. "We know of the potential of cannabis as an economic driver and force for good, and it is encouraging to see employment numbers continue to reflect this strong growth."
"Leafly is proud to step up and fill the gap created by the lack of federal reporting and to advocate for federal legalization that is equitable and accessible to all communities," continued Miyashita. "During this election year, it is essential that our elected officials recognize the reality that cannabis is a leading American industry and help us achieve our goal of an inclusive and profitable cannabis industry for all."
Leafly'sLeafly's research showed that the 27 US states that have legalized medical cannabis, along with the 11 states with legal cannabis for adult use, sold nearly $25 billion worth of products last year. The total was more than US$6 billion (R$31.05 billion), more than the previous year, an increase of 33%. The report notes that investments that fled the cannabis sector in early 2020 have largely returned, fueling continued growth and hiring in the sector and leading Leafly to proclaim that "there has never been a better time to get a job in the legal industry." of cannabis." The report also takes an in-depth look at cannabis labour markets in nine states, including California, Illinois and New York.
By 2025, the cannabis market is expected to approach $45 billion annually as stores begin to open in newly legalized markets in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and New Mexico. But even that number is only about a quarter of the expected annual cannabis revenue once national legalization takes place. When that happens, the report estimates that the legal cannabis industry will support 1.5 million to 1.75 million jobs, a more than fourfold increase in the sector's current total employment.
Karson Humiston, founder and CEO of cannabis industry hiring platform Vangst, says the recent labour shortage popularly referred to as the Great Layoff has caused employers in many industries to reconsider their strategies for retaining talent. At the same time, however, Vangst has seen the cannabis industry report a 25% increase in full-time employees, many of whom have entered the sector from other industries, including technology, human resources, beauty and fashion. It is a trend that is likely to continue.
"As people continue to leave jobs in their current industry," Humiston wrote via email, "we will see an influx of people switching to cannabis as the industry continues to grow exponentially and the negative stigma surrounding the industry continues to grow. continues to decline as it approaches federal legalization."