Projections indicate cannabis jobs will outnumber traditional trades


Logan Lowrey-Rasmussen

Marijuana Business Factbook 2017 reported the American cannabis industry has created more than 165,000 to 230,000 full-time and part-time jobs, outnumbering those in positions like chefs, commercial pilots, fishermen, and loggers.

This information contradicts earlier worries that the industry would cause more harm than good, while job growth is estimated by the Bureau of Labor Statistics to outgrow manufacturing and government jobs by 2020.

These numbers include retail employees, growers, labs, product distributors, and ancillary businesses that make up the cannabis industry’s workforce. The data was additionally compared to industry careers that show jobs like bakers, dental hygienists, massage therapists, and coal miners with lower worker counts than those in the legal cannabis industry.

In 2016, the legal cannabis market was estimated to be worth $7.2 billion and is projected to climb at a compound annual rate of 17 percent.

New Frontier Data projects the worth of the market to jump from $4.7 billion to $13.3 billion, while social cannabis sales are estimated to jump from $2.6 billion to $11.2 billion. These results are a projection from 2016 to 2020.

“We expect the cannabis industry’s growth to be slowed down to some degree in the next three to five years,” Giada Aguirre De Carcer, founder and CEO of New Frontier Data told Forbes.  

“However with projected total market sales to exceed $24 billion by 2025, and the possibility of almost 300,000 jobs by 2020, it remains a positive economic force in the U.S.” she added

In perspective, the majority of jobs in the legal cannabis industry are concentrated on smaller operations that normally need only a handful of employees.

With legalization happening state-by-state, cannabis corporations hiring large groups of people are still scarce until decriminalization takes place.