With legalized medical or recreational marijuana in more than half of the country’s states, the cannabis industry has created over 100,000 full-time jobs in many different fields. The increasing number of industry employees makes it hard to ignore the merits of legalization. Not to mention, the billions of dollars in tax revenue generated by legal cannabis in a single year.
There are new opportunities for both large and small businesses. Some have turned a few thousand dollars of initial investment into growing businesses. On the other hand, large cannabis firms are successfully closing 7 figure capital raises to expand and create further opportunity.
According to data from the 2018 Annual Marijuana Business Factbook, 125,000-160,000 people work full-time in the legal marijuana industry. These numbers include employees on both the plant-touching and ancillary sides.
On the plant-touching side, there are growers, retail employees, processors, sellers, researchers and more. The ancillary side of the cannabis industry is employing lawyers, publishers, product designers and others who profit from legalization without the risks associated with touching the plant directly.
To put the number of full-time employees in the marijuana industry into perspective, the authors noted that it was possible for full-time marijuana industry workers to outnumber librarians and kindergarten teachers in the United States.
They also believe that the cannabis industry is growing much faster than other emerging markets.
“The industry is projected to add as many as 340,000 full-time jobs by 2022. This reflects an estimated growth of 21% per year, significantly higher than official estimates for other industries and professions,” the authors concluded.
Large Business Opportunities
One of the greatest takeaways from the factbook’s operational data was that this year, investors are planning to put more than twice as much capital into the cannabis sector compared to previous years. Prior to this year, the average cannabis investor spent $750,000 on the industry. The data predicts that number will climb to $2 million as traders decide how to invest in the legal cannabis industry.
The information on plant-touching sectors of the cannabis industry showed many infused product companies turning into national brands.
“Many growth-minded infused product companies are pursuing aggressive expansion strategies with licensing agreements and partnerships to bring their brands into new markets,” the factbook stated.
Ancillary Business Growth
Ancillary cannabis businesses are those that support the industry without directly dealing with the plant. Close to half of their income comes from marijuana companies.
“For ancillary companies serving the cannabis industry, rapid growth in the space means a boom in revenue for marijuana-related products and services,” according to page 15 of the factbook.
Industry analysts believe the market will continue to grow. As a result, more jobs will be created and revenue could increase high enough to rival the annual revenue of McDonald’s. Anyone looking for work will find ample opportunity in the legal cannabis industry which is projected to create hundreds of thousands of full-time jobs over the next four years.