In the current economic and political climate, one of the things we hear people asking for the most is jobs. Too many people in the United States are unemployed, underemployed or underpaid, and that causes a whole lot of tension.
Luckily, there is a force in the U.S. economy that is expected to be churning out jobs by the hundreds of thousands over the next few years: the cannabis industry.
The marijuana market has been around forever, but over the last century it has been pushed strictly into the black market. And it has certainly been making money – people haven’t stopped smoking cannabis just because they can’t legally possess it.
But all that money failed to circulate through the legitimate economy where it could be doing the most good by creating jobs, tax revenue, heightened business activity and more. If lawmakers are serious about creating jobs and loosing the economy, it seems clear that the budding legal marijuana industry is a place to look.
One report coming out of New Frontier Data makes a fairly staggering projection: the marijuana industry will create more than a quarter million jobs by 2020. And honestly, that projection is probably quite low, as they only base it on states that have already legalized the industry either medically or recreationally – not states that likely will in the near future.
That’s a huge deal. In 2016, it was estimated that the cannabis market was worth about $7.2 billion, with a healthy projection rate of about $17 billion total by 2020. Currently, the industry is employing somewhere between 100,000 to 150,000 people.
These numbers suggest that the legal marijuana industry could be a major driver for economic growth over the next few years in the United States. Giadha Aguirre De Carcer, CEO and founder of New Frontier Data, told Forbes:
“These numbers confirm that cannabis is a major economy driver and job creation engine for the U.S. economy…while we see a potential drop in total number of U.S. jobs created in 2017, as reported by Kiplinger, 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.”