Jobs in the state-licensed cannabis industry have grown 32 percent in the past 12 months, and the industry now employs over 321,000 full-time employees, according to Leafly.com.
According to their 2021 report, the regulated cannabis industry created around 78,000 new jobs in the past year. The report’s authors admitted that the industry’s increased growth was particularly noteworthy because it “came in a year marked by a global pandemic, rising unemployment and economic recession. … Outside of the cannabis industry, the US economy contracted 3.5 percent, the unemployment rate nearly doubled, and nearly 10 million Americans saw their jobs disappear. “
To put the total number of jobs in 2021 in perspective, the authors write, “The United States has more legal cannabis workers than electrical engineers. There are more legal cannabis workers out there than rescue workers and paramedics. There are more than twice as many legal cannabis workers as there are dentists. “
States that added the greater number of cannabis-related jobs were California (23,707 jobs), Florida (14,891 jobs), Michigan (9,216 jobs), and Illinois (8,348 jobs). Overall, the total number of full-time positions in the licensed cannabis industry has almost tripled since 2017.
Cannabis sales also hit an all-time high in 2020, generating record levels of tax revenues. “During a year when many sectors of the American economy narrowed, we saw historic economic growth in the legal cannabis industry,” said Paul Armentano, associate director of NORML. “The dramatic increase in the number of players participating in the state legal cannabis space and overall sales is due to more consumers moving from the illegal market to the above-ground legal market. As more legal markets come on board and mature, consumers will continue to focus and move away from the underground market. “
Read the full 2021 report here.