While numerous states have legalized medical and/ or recreational cannabis, it remains illegal at the federal level. As such, agencies such as the Bureau of Labor and Statistics have been turning a blind eye to any cannabis-related jobs.
Based on a Leafly report, 210,000 jobs have been created by legal cannabis in the US, with more than 64,000 of those jobs having been created last year alone. 2017 saw a cannabis industry employment rise by 21% and since, things have been moving fast, especially in some states.
Interestingly, figures by the Bureau of Labor statistics for Home Health Care Aides highlighted a 47% growth over 10 years. Leafly’s growth projection within the cannabis industry has been based on only three years. This implies that as far as employment is concerned, cannabis is most likely America’s fastest growing industry.
Washington and Colorado, who made cannabis legal in 2014, have experienced a steady growth in the last five years. However, states like Nevada and Florida, which are newer at legalizing cannabis, are enjoying a huge employment boom on many different cannabis-related levels.
In Florida alone, cannabis-related jobs increased by an overwhelming 703% in 2018. In Nevada, 7,500 new employment opportunities were created by cannabis in 2018. California’s cannabis-related jobs were reasonably constant the same year, but a 21% growth is anticipated in 2019.
Massachusetts legalized recreational cannabis recently, and a rise of 10,000 new jobs is expected by the end of 2019.
Cannabis legalization also creates additional work and revenue for professionals such as lab workers, marketing experts, and accountants. However, the statistics would never have been revealed were it not for the 2019 Cannabis Job Count report by Leafy. Cannabis is still a Schedule I controlled substance by the Federal government. This puts it on a similar level as drugs such as heroin. Hence, as for now, cannabis-related jobs remain officially illegal, despite workers being legally employed and receiving full benefits in the legalized states.
In addition to the blooming job industry, the legalization of cannabis is going on well across the board. The sale of legal marijuana increased by close to 35% in 2018, hitting a remarkable $10.8 billion. However, the decades of brutal cannabis prohibition has led to the imprisonment of many who possessed pot over the years.
The era of cannabis prohibition is fading away now, and authorities are slowly adjusting to the new reality. Once cannabis is made legal or at least decriminalized by the federal government, employment will boom, and the economy will grow.