Image source: www.leafly.com


Great news! As of January 2022, 428,059 full-time equivalent jobs were supported by legal cannabis. According to the 2022 Leafly Job Reports, that is a 33% increase in jobs within a single year. This marks it as the fifth year in a row of annual job growth being greater than 27%.  Last year, the cannabis industry created on average 280 new jobs a day.  The annual Leafly Jobs Report is produced in partnership with Whitney Economics since 2019. Whitney Economics is known for being the nation’s most comprehensive cannabis employment study.

Did you know that Federal prohibition actually prevents the US Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics from counting state-legal marijuana jobs. I mean, I’m not totally suprised but also when is this negative cannabis stigma going to go away? I think it’s pretty evident that cannabis jobs count and have importance no matter how you look at it. The amount of work that takes place within the cannabis industry is on another level.

Those 428,059 jobs include direct cannabis jobs like cultivation and sales. These jobs are often called “plant-touching jobs” because well, that is exactly what is taking place. Furthermore, those jobs also include indirect ancillary jobs who serve licensed companies or depend on the legal cannabis sales. Ancillary jobs include job descriptions such as legal affairs, regulatory compliance, accounting, human resources, security, construction and maintenance. Indirect jobs include media, public relations, technology, lobbying, non-cannabis product suppliers and industry associations (Leafly).

Leafly’s Job Reports dug a little deeper and looked into the nine states that were leading contributers to the increase in jobs. Here are those results below (Leafly):

1- Arizona: due to first year of adult sales, Arizon added roughly 2,600 jobs for a total of 23,333 jobs

2-California: California is still at the top of the list of the countries leading cannabis employer, with 83, 607 jobs and $5.1 billion in sales in 2021
3-Florida: with a medical marijuana boom in 2021 resulting in sales of $1.5 billion, 25,895 jobs were supported.
4-Illinois: 28,992 jobs and $1.78 billion sold in products in 2021. Sales were up 73% over 2020.
5- Massachussets: $1.65 billion in total 2021 sales supporting 27,212 jobs.
6-Michigan:Cannabis sales increased 81% in 2021, reaching $1.79 billion and supporting 31,152 jobs. The 72% annual growth in jobs now puts Michigan behind California and Colorado regarding cannabis employment.
7-New Jersey: $189 million in cannabis products in 2021 which supported 3,147 jobs.
8-New York: With only 40 licensed dispensaries to serve 20 million people, 2,358 jobs were supported by the $149 million in sales
9-Oregon: The legal cannabis market supports 19,938 jobs thanks t0 $1.8 billion in products sold with a 7% increase over previous years.

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