The marijuana industry added 64,389 jobs in 2018, an increase of 44% from the year before, according to a new report from the cannabis website Leafly and Whitney Economics.
There are now more than 211,000 legal cannabis jobs in the U.S. And that number jumps to 296,000 when indirect jobs (suppliers or independent contractors) and induced jobs (project or business financing) are included, according to the report.
Not impressed? Think about this: the number of legal marijuana jobs in the U.S. now surpasses coal mining (52,000), textile manufacturing (112,000), and brewery workers (69,000).
(Though recreational marijuana is legal in 10 states and medical marijuana is legal in 34, it’s still illegal at the federal level; so the Bureau of Labor Statistics does not track jobs for the sector.)
In 2018, legal marijuana sales grew 34% to $10.8 billion in the U.S, according to the report.
In January 2018, California became one of the leaders in job creation among states that have legalized cannabis by allowing dispensaries to sell recreational marijuana. The legal market has not erased the influence of the black market, but legal jobs continue to open up. The Leafly report projects that California will add over 10,000 cannabis jobs this year.
The industry has been able to sustain job growth in states even where legalization has been in effect for many years.
“It’s been five years since Colorado and Washington opened their first adult-use retail cannabis stores, and we’re just now seeing a slowing in the rate of cannabis growth in those two states,” the report says.
States with robust medical marijuana businesses and those that allow for recreational marijuana sales have helped jobs proliferate. Florida saw a boom across its medical marijuana industry, adding 10,358 full-time jobs as of January 2019, compared to 1,290 in January 2018. The surge was spurred in part by the medical marijuana patient population in Florida, which jumped from 65,000 to 165,000 in 12 months.
“If cannabis job gains follow on at a conservative 20% in 2019, that will represent a 110% gain in full-time jobs in three years,” the report says.
The ETFMG Alternative Harvest ETF (MJ) was trading at $37.12 per share on Friday morning, up $0.32 (+0.87%). Year-to-date, MJ has gained 14.13%, versus a 5.63% rise in the benchmark S&P 500 index during the same period.
This article is brought to you courtesy of Yahoo! Finance.