Legal Marijuana Becomes Fastest Growing Industry in the USA

business news Feb 11, 2020

The fourth Cannabis Jobs Report conducted by Leafly revealed incredible employment growth for the legal marijuana industry in 2019.

Over the past twelve months, the industry has added 33,700 new full-time-equivalent (FTE) jobs, which represents a 15% increase year over year! This brings the new total of legal cannabis-related jobs to 243,700 and makes cannabis the fastest-growing industry in the United States!

The top 10 states for employment are California, Colorado, Washington, Oregon, Florida, Arizona, Nevada, Massachusetts, Oklahoma, and Illinois.

While the west coast continues to lead the industry in overall employment opportunities, states such as Oklahoma and Florida are benefiting greatly from medical marijuana.

Florida has more than 300,000 state residents enrolled in the medical marijuana program, making it the country's largest market and supporting its 20,000 plus cannabis-related workers. Oklahoma's medical marijuana market grew 221% in 2019 and was a key driver in their more than 9,400 cannabis-related jobs.

Leafly Senior Editor and report author Bruce Barcott said, "In 2020, we're seeing older markets becoming more established, and dramatic expansion and growth in areas across the country – proving legal cannabis is not just a coastal phenomenon anymore. And we expect big things in 2020, with these trends pointing to triple-digit growth in the Midwest, a spike in hiring in newly legalized states, and even more folks becoming comfortable with cannabis and boosting legal dispensary sales."

According to the report, the numbers would have been even better if not for technical job losses in California and Michigan. These 8,600 jobs are expected to return over the next two years with changes in laws and regulations.

In spite of the tumultuous year that the cannabis industry had in 2019 with issues with financing, banking, and a vaping health crisis, this report shows that the industry was able to overcome these challenges and that job growth is sustainable.

Barcott added," We created the Leafly Jobs Report in 2017 to show that the cannabis industry is an unseen economic growth engine. Four years later, that remains true."

It's essential to keep in mind that, even as good as these numbers are, the report does not include job gains related to CBD since it is not state-regulated like cannabis.

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