America’s cannabis industry supports over 400,000 jobs

The 2022 Leafly Jobs Report has unearthed some fascinating findings about the U.S. cannabis industry’s impact on jobs. 

According to the findings, as of January 2022, 428,059 full-time equivalent jobs were supported by legal cannabis. 

In 2021, an average of 280 new jobs were created by the cannabis industry on a daily basis — representing a 33 percent increase in these types of jobs within a single year. 

Plus, the findings mark the fifth consecutive year of annual jobs growing more than 27%. Today, the plant constitutes a multi-billion dollar business in the U.S., with consumers forking out $25 billion last year alone.

The report, which is published on an annual basis, was produced in conjunction with Whitney Economics — a global pioneer in cannabis and hemp industry business consulting, data, and economic research, has teamed up with Leafly to carry out the research since 2019. 

Key takeaways from the 2022 Leafly Jobs Report

Due to federal prohibition, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics is forbidden from counting state-legal cannabis jobs. Not to worry, however, since the data and news team at Leafly have been hard at work analyzing employment in the legal cannabis sector. 

Their most recent search found that the cannabis industry has created 428,059 direct or “hands-on” jobs, such as cultivation and retail dispensary sales. In addition to this, the cannabis industry has opened the door to a number of ancillary jobs that rely on legal cannabis sales or serve licensed companies.

Examples of ancillary or indirect cannabis jobs that do not touch the plant are accounting, construction, human resources, legal affairs, media, maintenance, technology, regulatory compliance and security.

Which U.S. states harbor the most cannabis job potential?

Highlighted below are the key players in the U.S. cannabis job market as per Leafly’s report:

  • Arizona

During its first year of adult-use cannabis sales in 2021, Arizona welcomed approximately 2,600 new jobs.

  • California

California takes the lead as the nation’s cannabis employer, with the state racking up $5.1 billion in legal sales during 2021 and the industry supporting 83,607 jobs

  • Florida

Florida continued reaping the rewards of its medical cannabis market in 2021, with legal transactions of $1.5 billion supporting 25,895 jobs.

  • Illinois

The legal cannabis industry in Illinois sold $1.78 billion of product last year, when the market supported a total of 28,992 jobs.

  • Massachusetts

Massachusetts is renowned for operating a consistent and tightly-regulated cannabis industry, with last year’s industry supporting over 27,000 jobs. Sales raked in $1.65 billion in total for 2021.

  • Michigan

Michigan’s legal cannabis sales soared 81 percent last year, when they amounted to $1.79 billion. Over 31,000 jobs were supported by the legal market in 2021. The state’s total cannabis employment figures fall only behind California and Colorado — two of the most well-established and successful cannabis markets in the United States.

  • New Jersey

Although limited and lacking proper regulation, New Jersey’s medical cannabis market still managed to shift $189 million worth of product in 2021, at which point the industry supported 3,147 jobs.

  • New York

During the year 2021, licensed cannabis dispensaries in New York logged $149 million worth of transactions for the medical cannabis market, which now supports more than 2,350 jobs.

  • Oregon

Oregon’s cannabis consumers bought $1.18 billion worth of cannabis products last year — seven percent more than the year prior. As of January 2022, Oregon’s legal cannabis market supports 19,938 jobs.