Even if cannabis is only legal in two-third of the united states it is officially the fastest-growing job market in America. Over the past years, this expanding industry created over 33,700 new jobs, showing a 79% growth only between 2018 and 2019.
More creation of jobs is to be expected as more and more states are looking into cannabis legalization. Recently, the New Jersey and the New York state officials were openly planning the legalization of cannabis. Also, Sen. Cry Booker, a New Jersey Democrat, and presidential candidate, for the 2020 election shared his plans of introducing a new bill that could legalize cannabis federally. With all these uncertainties, experts are still expecting these numbers to keep growing and reach a total of 414,000 new jobs by 2021.
The top employers are the states where both medical and recreational cannabis are legal. Colorado and California are leading the way. California is offering one job per 980 residents and Colorado surprisingly has a bigger per-capita and offers one job per 165 residents. Despite these numbers, California is still the largest legal cannabis employer of all the states.
All of these numbers do not include jobs created in the CBD industry.
This new industry is creating all kinds of jobs, like sales and marketing and cultivation of course. Although more than half of those new careers' opportunities are specially for technical workers such as accountants, lab workers tax experts, etc. This results in a median annual salary of $58,511, which is almost 11% higher than the overall US median.
Unfortunately, all these professions the cannabis industry is offering are under threat. We saw a major wave of layoff in 2019, in California. Mostly because of all the regulations and the tax that licensed companies have to respects and pay. Jared Helfant the president of Sparx Cannabis says "In the last few months, a lot of big companies actually laid off a lot of o people and have decreased their sales force – a lot of big distributors and cultivators- mostly because of taxes and the booming black market".
As of June 2019, according to New Frontier Data, the illegal market of cannabis was evaluated to a total of $70 billion nationwide which is seven-time larger than the legal market. In some states, the black market is stealing 70 to 80% of sales from licensed dispensaries. Cannabis producers and dispensaries owners are doing their best to put pressure on officials to rescue them and to shut down all illegal activities. This black market is a threat not only to this flourishing industry but to all consumers who buy from it.
Considering the struggle, the black market is imposing on this new legal business, the cannabis employers will need to have a more strategic approach for their 2020 new hires.
Despite these ups and downs, the job creation power the marijuana industry has is promising. With the US labor showing signs of fear, of an eventual recession, the opportunities the cannabis is offering might moderate the impacts of an upcoming economic decline.