Marijuana businesses that are legal under their state’s law hired 64,000 new employees in 2018, and now employs over 200,000 full-time workers, according to data compiled by Whitney Economics and Leafly.com.
The report, entitled Cannabis Jobs Count, identifies some 211,000 full-time jobs in the legal cannabis sector. This total increases to 296,000 jobs when ancillary employers are also included.
By comparison, 112,000 Americans are estimated to currently work in the textile industry, while only about 52,000 people are employed by the coal mining industry.
“[T]he legal cannabis industry remains a substantial and unrecognized engine of grassroots job creation,” authors concluded. “In fact, cannabis job growth is proceeding at double digit rates in many states despite being overtaxed locally and heavily penalized at the federal level.”
California (67,000 jobs) led the country in cannabis-related employment, followed by Washington (47,000 jobs), and Colorado (44,000 jobs).
The report states:
Some states that have had legal adult-use cannabis sales for a while now—Colorado and Washington opened their stores in 2014—are just now seeing the growth in cannabis jobs start to plateau.
Meanwhile, newly legal states, such as Florida (medical) and Nevada (adult use), are experiencing cannabis job booms with eye-popping gains:
- Florida grew its cannabis employment by 703% in 2018, adding more than 9,000 full-time jobs.
- Nevada added more than 7,500 jobs during that same year.
- Pennsylvania ended 2017 with around 90 cannabis jobs. It ended the 2018 with nearly 3,900.
- New York grew its cannabis employment by 278%, ending 2018 with more than 5,000 jobs.
Commenting on the findings, NORML Executive Director Erik Altieri said: “The federal government needs to deschedule marijuana to allow states to better and more fully benefit from the economic growth engine that is the legal marijuana industry. Further, state regulators need to ensure as this sector expands its economic benefits are shared by all, including and most especially by those who suffered most under the …