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How Many People Work In The Legal U.S. Cannabis Industry?

The legal cannabis industry in the United States is still young by many standards, however, that hasn’t stopped the industry from putting up huge numbers in recent years. The medical cannabis industry in the United States started in California in 1996, albeit in a largely ‘gray area’ fashion. The legal adult-use cannabis industry started with the first legal purchase in Colorado at the start of 2014.

Now, in 2020, the legal cannabis industry is operating in every corner of the United States, from Florida to Alaska and Maine to Hawaii. Obviously, not every state allows the legal cannabis industry to operate, but reform is hopefully on the way soon to those remaining jurisdictions which will create a legal cannabis industry framework and regulations.

At our recent conference in San Francisco on February 6-7, Leafly‘s Bruce Barcott unveiled the fourth annual Cannabis Industry Jobs report, which is a stellar way to gauge the size of the emerging legal cannabis industry in the U.S. Below is more information about the report, per Leafly:

Leafly’s annual Cannabis Jobs Report found 243,700 full-time-equivalent (FTE) jobs supported by legal cannabis as of January 2020.

That’s a 15% year-over-year increase. Over the past 12 months the expanding industry has created 33,700 new jobs nationwide, making legal marijuana the fastest-growing industry in America.

This year’s jobs count found Massachusetts, Oklahoma, and Illinois leading the employment expansion. As its adult-use market passed its one-year anniversary, Massachusetts added 10,226 jobs. Meanwhile, Oklahoma’s robust medical marijuana industry added more than 7,300 jobs in the past year.

Those numbers are inspiring. It will be very interesting to see where the numbers are at in 2025, 2030, and beyond. The cannabis industry is the most exciting industry in the country for prospective job candidates, and it’s also the fastest-growing industry in the nation. That is also true at the global level.

The future is bright for cannabis industry employment. Eventually, the entire U.S. will have legal cannabis industries operating within their borders, as well as legal interstate commerce and international imports/exports. People that get in on the ground floor now will be well-positioned to reap the benefits of cannabis industry job opportunities in the decades to come.