Almost 150,000 legal full-time marijuana jobs, including ancillary industry jobs like consulting and hydroponics providers, according to new data from Leafly.com.
This is the second time Leafly has undertaken taking a tally of marijuana jobs after realizing that the Schedule I status of the drug meant that state and federal statisticians couldn’t get an accurate count. This also allows us to compare last year’s numbers to this year: this year, Leafly found 149,304 full-time jobs in legal cannabis. Last year, they found 122,814 full-time cannabis industry jobs, a huge increase of 22% in just 12 months. The industry is booming, and will continue to grow as more state legalize medical and recreational programs. Here’s some data:
Adult Use States
There are ten states (well, the District of Columbia is also on the list) counted under this section. California has the largest amount of full-time marijuana industry jobs overall, with a 10 percent increase from 43,364 in 2016 up to 47, 711 in 2017. Colorado comes in second for sheer amount of jobs, coming in at 26,891 in 2017, a 15 percent increase from their number of 23,407 in 2016. Washington state is third, with 26,556 jobs in 2017, a huge 35 percent increase from their 19,694 in 2016. The highest percentage of increase was Alaska; they only have 542 full-time cannabis industry jobs counted in 2017 but that’s an amazing 252 percent up from the mere 154 that were counted in 2016.
Our lovely state of Oregon comes in fourth for marijuana jobs, with 10,843 counted in 2017, a 15 percent increase from the 9,398 that were counted last year.
Medical Cannabis States
Out of Leafly’s 23 entries for this category, there was even larger growth in the 12 month period, with multiple newly legalized states joining the ranks and others growing at huge rates. Michigan had the largest workforce, with 12,515 full time marijuana jobs in 2017, up 60 percent from their count of 7,825 in 2016. The largest percentage of grown was seen in Florida; 1,290 jobs were counted in 2017, an exponential 1,746 percent growth from the mere 70 full time jobs counted in 2016.
While federal politicians are quibbling over the legality of cannabis, they could be looking at it for what it is: a huge source of job creation to benefit the people, and tax revenue to benefit the states. The only reason the conversation is anywhere else is due to stigma.