News and Trends / Cannabis

Cannabis Industry Likely to Employ More Than 400,000 By 2021, Study Projects

The federal government shows few signs it will legalize one of the biggest job producers in the country.
Cannabis Industry Likely to Employ More Than 400,000 By 2021, Study Projects
Image credit: Heath Korvola | Getty Images
Guest Writer
Easy Search. Quality Finds. Your partner and digital portal for the cannabis community.
3 min read
Opinions expressed by Green Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

When it comes to projections, no sector of the economy currently has a rosier outlook than the marijuana industry.

The latest report from ArcView Market Research demonstrates how big the numbers are getting. The name of the report neatly sums up the optimism of its findings: “U.S. Legal Cannabis: Driving $40 Billion Economic Output.”

No one is questioning the potential for growth in the industry. Entrepreneurs have flocked to cannabis because of that potential. But there are headwinds, mostly involving an anti-marijuana U.S. attorney general, a White House administration that has largely stayed quiet on the issue and difficulties getting marijuana markets set up in some places even where voters have approved it.

Still, in a release on the new report, ArcView CEO Troy Drayton said the economic potential of legal cannabis “is no longer just theory. Due to the giant impact adult-use legalization is already having in the United States, it’s vital for key stakeholders to understand the full impact of legalization, beyond just retail sales numbers.”

So, what did the report find that impact would be?

Related: Despite Being Illegal Under Federal Law, Cannabis Has Grown Into a $9 Billion Industry In States Where It Is Legal.

California Impact

The report was done against this backdrop: More than half of all U.S. states have approved a legal medical marijuana market, with adult-use marijuana sales are in place in Alaska, Colorado, Nevada, Oregon and Washington.

California also started adult-use sales in January. Massachusetts is expected to start later this year. Lawmakers in Maine are still trying to work out a deal to get their adult-use market up and running, while New Jersey's new Democrat governor has pledged to legalize marijuana in the Garden State.

But California is the driver behind many positive projections. The biggest state in the union, California is expected to add billions to the marijuana market in the U.S.

ArcView, which did the study with cannabis business intelligence company BDS Analytics, projects the marijuana industry in the U.S. will account for $39.6 billion in economic output by 2021. About 60 percent of that will come from just six states: California, Colorado, Massachusetts, Nevada, Oregon and Washington.

The Golden State also is projected as a huge factor in another area: cannabis jobs.

Related: Study Suggests Legal Pot Would Make Border Safer Than a Massive Wall

Cannabis Workers

The report projects that the California cannabis industry will add 99,000 jobs by 2021, about a third of all the cannabis-related jobs in the U.S.  Indirect jobs related to the cannabis industry will total about 146,000 in the state.

Other projections and findings from the report:

  • The cannabis industry will create 414,000 jobs across the country by 2021, either directly in the cannabis industry or in a related job.
  • State and local governments are projected to reap $4 billion in total tax receipts from the marijuana industry by 2021.
  • The report argues that the legal recreational marijuana industry in Colorado may have led to the state having one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country.
  • The total amount of taxes taken in by states where cannabis is legal reached $1 billion in 2016, including wholesale, excise and cannabis-specific sales taxes.

Clearly, those numbers are a business person’s dream (government officials, too). The growing economic power of the legal marijuana industry might be the one thing that keeps it from coming under attack by the current administration in Washington.

To stay up to date on the latest marijuana related news make sure to like dispensaries.com on Facebook

By Javier Hasse
From retailers to growers, producers, and suppliers, there’s a seemingly never-ending list of startup opportunities in this emerging market. In Start Your Own Cannabis Business, marijuana, biotech, and entrepreneurship reporter Javier Hasse introduces forward-thinking entrepreneurs like you to the industry and shares hard-earned tips and success stories from pioneers and visionaries in the marijuana industry.
Learn More

Latest on Green Entrepreneur

My Queue

There are no Videos in your queue.

Click on the Add to Queue next to any video to save to your queue.

There are no Articles in your queue.

Click on the Add to Queue next to any article to save to your queue.

Podcasts episodes coming soon for GreenEntrepreneur.com

There are no Podcasts in your queue.

Click on the Add to Queue next to any podcast episode on Entrepreneur.com to save to your queue.

You're not following any authors.

Click the Follow button on any author page to keep up with the latest content from your favorite authors.

Report: Sales of Cannabis Concentrates Expected to Triple to $8.5B by 2022

Entrepreneur Media, Inc. values your privacy. In order to understand how people use our site generally, and to create more valuable experiences for you, we may collect data about your use of this site (both directly and through our partners). The table below describes in more detail the data being collected. By giving your consent below, you are agreeing to the use of that data. For more information on our data policies, please visit our Cookie Policy.

Name Category
Google Ad Serving, Ad Targeting, Analytics/Measurement, Optimisation
Rubicon Ad Serving
Teads Ad Serving
Nativo Ad Serving
Teads Ad Serving
New Relic Analytics/Measurement
Log Entries Analytics/Measurement
Sailthru Content Customization