How Many Marijuana Jobs Are There in the U.S.? The Answer May Surprise You
According to a new report, nearly 300 cannabis jobs are created daily.
It's difficult to calculate just how fast the cannabis industry has grown in recent years. But one way to determine the size is the number of jobs created.
That number reached 428,000 in January 2022, making the marijuana industry one of the fastest-growing employers in the country, according to data reported by The Washington Post.
Another way to determine cannabis's impact on the economy is to look at tax dollars from cannabis sales. In fact, many consider this the most accurate measure.
That number totaled $11 billion for states and local municipalities between 2014 and 2021.
Nearly 300 new jobs added per day
The cannabis industry or related industries (such as marketing, legal work, transportation, etc.) are an excellent place to start for those looking to work. The industry created about 280 new jobs per day in 2021, according to the Leafly Jobs Report.
California remains the biggest employer in the cannabis industry, with an estimated 83,607 jobs. Colorado (38,337), Michigan (31,152), and Illinois (28,992) are the next top employers. However, analysts expect New York and New Jersey to rank among the top states for cannabis employment as legal weed sales begin in both states.
The job numbers growth is especially impressive considering that it's been only eight years since Colorado and Washington first began to allow legal cannabis sales. Leafly expects full employment in the industry to reach more than 1.5 million jobs as more states legalize (or the U.S. Congress finally makes it legal at the federal level).
Popular jobs in the cannabis industry
Some of the fastest growing jobs in the industry include the following.
Budtender. They work at a dispensary, answering questions from customers and guiding them to the right strain of cannabis to meet their needs. They need a combination of weed knowledge and strong customer service skills.
Edible maker. Edibles are large and growing part of the cannabis market. It's a creative industry, with entrepreneurs constantly inventing new types of cannabis-infused gummies, candy, tea, baked goods and beverages.
Delivery. Whether running a delivery business or working as a delivery person, this is an area of growth as more states allow dispensaries to deliver products to consumers' homes. In some areas, it's also the best business opportunity for minorities.
Dispensary manager. Every dispensary needs a manager who has strong business skills, especially in retail, and depth of knowledge in the marijuana business.
Security guard. Dispensaries, manufacturers and transportation companies are in need of security guards who are licensed to carry a firearm and have certification as a guard.
Professional services. Marketers, attorneys, accountants, tax specialists, transportation companies and other businesses have found good clients in the cannabis industry, where the rapid growth calls for strong professional services.