The Legal Cannabis Industry Creates Job Opportunities in Proactive States

The Legal Cannabis Industry Creates Job Opportunities in Proactive States

    While the Florida Government stalls the expansion of the Legal Cannabis Industry in the state, many of the more proactive states are finding this market to be incredibly fruitful. In fact, this industry has drawn national attention as statistics of booming economies pour in from established Western states. Job growth can be provide incredible leverage in political power struggles as politicians strive to prove their ability to improve the economic standing of the state. 

Federal Government Blind to Increased Job Opportunities in the Cannabis Industry

    Cannabis job growth contributed to the economy at a rate rarely witnessed in recent years. Because the federal government refuses to officially count cannabis jobs, though, they don’t register in official statistics or economic reports. Fortunately, for the past three years, Leafly has undertaken an annual survey—the Cannabis Jobs Count Project—to provide that missing data stating…  

“This year Leafly partnered with Whitney Economics to mount our most ambitious Cannabis Jobs Count yet. Using state-reported data, industry surveys, on-the-ground reporting, Leafly’s proprietary data, and economic formulas devised by Leafly and Whitney Economics, we’ve done what the federal government and most states refuse to do: count cannabis jobs. It’s not simple. It’s not easy. But the numbers we’ve discovered lead to one inevitable conclusion: We are witnessing the birth of the next great American industry.” (Leafly)

National Increases in Job Opportunities Linked to the Cannabis Industry

    These surveys allow us to witness the statistical changes in the Legal Cannabis Economy. Unfortunately, the United States government has turned a blind eye to these improvements. We took a further look into these surveys to provide much of this information to you, our consumers, in hopes to draw attention to the necessity of this industry in our state.

In early 2017, roughly 120,000 Americans worked in the legal cannabis industry. At that time, 29 states allowed medical marijuana. Four states and the District of Columbia had legalized adult use of cannabis. National sales in legal markets topped $6.7 billion. 

Today, two years later, 34 states have legalized medical marijuana. Ten states and the District of Columbia have legalized cannabis for adult use. Annual sales nationwide are nearing $11 billion. Additionally, the number of Americans directly employed in this booming industry has soared to more than 211,000. 

When indirect and ancillary jobs—think of all the lawyers, accountants, security consultants, media companies, and marketing firms that service the cannabis industry—are added, along with induced jobs (local community jobs supported by the spending of cannabis industry paychecks), the total number of full-time American jobs that depend on legal cannabis rises to a whopping 296,000.

If these numbers were reported by major media outlets, they could drastically change the social conception of all that the Cannabis Industry has to offer. Low-income and low-employment areas would flourish with the ability to expand their opportunities into this industry. In fact, in 2018, the cannabis industry posted job gains of 44%. The year prior, the job gain rate was 21%. All reported data leads analysts to the same conclusion: this industry is NOT slowing down.   

Bureau of Labor Statistics Refusal to Report

With all of this information quite readily available, why does the Bureau of Labor Statistics refuse to report on these jobs? To simplify that answer, because Cannabis is still Federally Illegal and considered an Illicit Substance by the Federal Government. However,  there’s nothing preventing state labor economists from including legal cannabis workers in their reports on employment within their borders. Or is there?

 Actually, there is. Labor statistics are collected using the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS). Canada, the United States, and Mexico use the NAICS system, which is a collection of nearly 20,000 codes delineating specific job categories. If a job or industry does not have its own NAICS code number, that job doesn’t exist within the statistical universe of labor economists. These jobs, however, are real jobs. They are held by real Americans supporting themselves, their families, and their communities. If it matters to the people, where should the government stand?

Job Opportunities in Florida Linked to a Restricted Legal Cannabis Industry

    Florida’s Cannabis Industry has experienced many restrictions in its infancy. The legal cannabis market in Florida consists mainly of small CBD businesses as well as an ill-formulated Medical Cannabis System. Florida remains one of the most restricted of all Medical states. In fact, Florida legalized the approved use of medical marijuana in 2016. Whereas, CBD and Hemp based products were not fully legalized until July,1, 2019 due to poorly written and ineffective legislation.

    However, statistically, Florida has already seen the fruits of this industry over the past three years. For instance, Florida added the greatest number of full-time cannabis jobs of all the states in 2018. In fact, this gain exhibited a 703% increase in these jobs. The build-out of the state’s medical marijuana industry produced an enormous hiring boom. At the end of 2017, there were 1,290 direct full-time jobs in the state’s medical cannabis industry. One year later, we count 10,358. That hiring surge was spurred in part by a near-tripling of Florida’s medical marijuana patient population, which grew from roughly 65,000 to 165,000 in 12 months. 

Legalization is an Obligation

    This information leads many analysts and activists to advocate for the full legalization of Cannabis due to the overwhelming economic advantages; as well as the moral obligation to citizens rights. Many individuals believe that a suffering economy would benefit exponentially from Legalized Recreational Cannabis as well.