There have been plenty of unanswered questions and uncertainties as the new presidential administration has transitioned into office; the future of the marijuana industry is one of those grey areas. But, legal cannabis supporters are hopeful that the financial promise and creation of new jobs that could be brought about by further legalization will be reason enough for President Trump to work cooperatively with the industry.
The legal cannabis industry is projected to create more than 250,000 jobs by 2020, according to a recent report from New Frontier Data. This number of new jobs is far greater than what the manufacturing industry, utility industry, or public sector has to offer. In fact, per the Bureau of Labor Statistics, each of these industries is expected to see job cuts in the coming years. By 2024, BLS reports that manufacturing jobs will decrease by more than 800,000, utilities by close to 50,000, and government by nearly 400,000.
The industries predicted to see the most job growth are those in or related to the healthcare field.
Last year, the legal cannabis market was valued at around $7.2 billion and is expected to grow at a compound annual rate of 17 percent. Medical marijuana sales alone brought in close to $5 billion in 2016; that number is expected to surpass $13 billion by 2020. Adult recreational sales, which garnered $2,6 billion last year, are expected to increase to more than $11 billion by 2020. Likewise, marijuana stocks are expected to rise as well.
These growth predictions only take into account markets that have already passed legalization legislation. Any other legal markets added to the mix before 2020 will result in even greater growth for the cannabis industry.
“These numbers confirm that cannabis is a major economic driver and job-creation engine for the US economy,” Giadha Aguirre De Carcer, Founder and CEO of New Frontier Data, told Forbes. “While we see a potential drop in total number of US jobs created in 2017, as well as an overall expected drop in GDP growth, the cannabis industry continues to be a positive contributing factor to growth at a time of potential decline,” she added.
Though, according to Aguirre De Carcer, the market’s growth pace is expected to slow to some degree over the next few years, it will continue to grow and produce unprecedented sales numbers nonetheless.
New Frontier worked with Marijuana Policy Group to conduct an economic analysis of the legal cannabis market and make predictions for the coming years. The researchers found that legal industry already employs between 100,000 and 150,000 workers, 90,000 of which actually handle marijuana plants.
The legal cannabis industry appeals to those aren’t interested in typical big business or cubicle-type jobs; many cannabis industry employees report being genuinely happy with their employment and the culture of the legal cannabis industry. Increasingly, professionals from traditional industries of all types are leaving their jobs to help tackle new challenges in the legal cannabis industry and further develop cannabis technology. [Source.]