Thursday, February 18, 2021
This short new "Jobs Report 2021" from Leafly provides a rosy account of the job creation contributions of the legalization of marijuana in US states. Here is part of the start of the 16-page report:
How many jobs are there in America’s legal marijuana industry? The 2021 Leafly Jobs Report found 321,000 full-time equivalent (FTE) jobs supported by legal cannabis as of January 2021.
To put that in perspective: In the United States there are more legal cannabis workers than electrical engineers. There are more legal cannabis workers than EMTs and paramedics. There are more than twice as many legal cannabis workers as dentists. And those jobs aren’t limited to Colorado and California. Medical marijuana is now legal in 37 states, while 15 states and Washington, DC, have legalized cannabis for all adults. In Florida, there are now more cannabis workers than plumbers. In Pennsylvania, the state’s famous steel industry employs roughly 36,000 workers — and the state’s not-so-famous legal cannabis industry employs nearly 16,000. In Michigan, there are more cannabis workers than cops.
The annual Leafly Jobs Report, produced in partnership with Whitney Economics, is the nation’s cornerstone cannabis employment study. Federal prohibition prevents the US Department of Labor from counting state-legal marijuana jobs. Since 2017, Leafly’s news and data teams have filled that gap with a yearly analysis of employment in the legal cannabis sector. Whitney Economics, a leading consulting firm that specializes in cannabis economics, has partnered with Leafly on the project since 2019.
In real numbers, the cannabis job growth in 2020 represents a doubling of the previous year’s US job growth. In 2019, the cannabis industry added 33,700 new US jobs for a total of 243,700. Despite a year marked by a global pandemic, spiking unemployment, and economic recession, the legal cannabis industry added 77,300 full-time jobs in the United States. That represents 32% year-over-year job growth, an astonishing figure in the worst year for US economic growth since World War II. Outside the cannabis industry, the US economy shrank by 3.5%, the unemployment rate almost doubled, and nearly 10 million Americans saw their jobs disappear.