Wondering how many jobs the legal marijuana market has created?
While prohibitionists paint an apocalyptic portrait for the legal marijuana market, others rely on it to live normal lives. In states with legalized marijuana, thousands now depend on the legal cannabis market to pay their bills. As more states legalize, the pros are starting to outweigh the cons. Take the states that have legalized recreational marijuana for example. They have created more jobs and tax money all while lowering opioid-induced overdoses. Additionally, a recent report from Leafly estimates that 122,814 full-time jobs exist because of the legal marijuana industry.
Changes in the way federal cannabis laws are enforced could put about 123,000 people out of work. That’s many more than the exaggerated 1,100 jobs Donald Trump claimed to save. If he genuinely wants to save jobs, he can select an Attorney General that is on board with his goal to leave marijuana laws “up to the states.”
Jobs Created By Legal Cannabis Industry
We compiled a list of the most in-demand cannabis industry jobs. Among them: budtender, extraction technician, cannabis cook, trimmer, and more. Jobs like these are abundant in states with legal marijuana. In fact, Leafly’s report showed California, Colorado, and Washington had the most legal cannabis jobs. Since they were the first three states to allow so many people to purchase marijuana it only makes sense that they would have the most full-time cannabis jobs.
The authors of the report mention the number of full-time legal cannabis careers might be greater than estimated.
“With the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics refusing to acknowledge the existence of a single legal cannabis job, a conservative estimate may be the best we’re going to get.”
There’s no official government office tallying cannabis jobs. So, all marijuana-related employment counts are currently unreliable. Most professions have a code assigned to them by the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS). That code is used to collect and analyze data on various job fields. Marijuana remains federally illegal. As a result, the NAICS has counted zero cannabis-related jobs to date.
“There are no reliable figures for the number of people employed nationally in the legal marijuana industry,” says Morgan Fox with the Marijuana Policy Project.
Biggest Threat To Growing Number Of Legal Cannabis Market Jobs
By appointing Jeff Sessions Attorney General, Trump could be putting 122,814 jobs at risk. In the past, Sessions has been vocally against the legalization of marijuana. He called it a danger and said that “good people don’t smoke marijuana.”
So far, Sessions claim lacks any factual or scientific evidence. Instead, he cites things like Lady Gaga’s “addiction” to marijuana as one of the potentials for danger. That mindset is not one cannabis consumers want in charge of the DEA and enforcing federal drug laws. Finally, Sessions’ perspective on pot does not take into account the opinions of the voters in 29 states that have legalized marijuana in some form.
Sessions’ latest update on legal marijuana did not take any weight off the industries shoulders. He says that he will enforce the laws that are in place even in legal marijuana states unless Congress changes them. What’s worse is he believes refusing to enforce laws against weed is violating Congress’ separation of powers.
His language is less extreme than it was before his nomination. Unfortunately, his rhetoric does nothing to ease the minds of people in states with legal marijuana who may have their votes undermined by federal laws. In the past, he’s never been shy about his anti-pot stance. However, since his confirmation hearing is not over, Sessions appears to be keeping controversial comments to a minimum.
As long as cannabis remains federally illegal gathering information on the number of full-time jobs will continue to be a difficult task. States new recreational marijuana laws like Maine will soon add to the number of full-time cannabis careers.