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By 2020, America’s Cannabis Industry Will Create More Jobs Than Manufacturing, Utilities and Government

A new market research report projects that the cannabis industry will create more than a quarter of a million jobs by 2020.

A new market analysis from New Frontier Data estimates that the legal cannabis market in the United States will generate nearly 283,422 jobs by 2020. This is more than the expected jobs in manufacturing, utilities and government industries, as projected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The report is the latest in the amounting evidence demonstrating that the cannabis industry is one of the nation’s fastest growing industries.

“These numbers confirm that cannabis is a major economic driver and job-creation engine for the U.S. economy,” said Giadha Aguirre De Carcer, Founder and CEO of New Frontier Data, in a statement. “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. We expect the cannabis industry’s growth to be slowed down to some degree in the next three to five years, however with projected total market sales to exceed $24 billion by 2025, and the possibility of almost 300,000 jobs by 2020, it remains a positive economic force in the U.S.”

According to New Frontier, the legal cannabis market was worth an estimated $7.2 billion in 2016, and is expected to grow at a compound annual rate of 17 percent. The nation’s medical marijuana market is projected to grow at a compound rate of 13 percent, increasing from $4.7 billion in 2016 to an estimated $13.3 billion in 2020. Based solely on the states that have already recreational marijuana laws, sales of adult use marijuana are projected to balloon from $2.6 billion to $11.2 billion, growing at a compound rate of 25 percent, by 2020.

The report says that by 2020, the legal marijuana market will be worth an estimated $24.5 billion when combining recreational and medical sales. Oaksterdam University in California and several institutions of higher learning are offering classes on cannabis in an effort to prepare marijuana workers and the healthcare industry for the burgeoning industry.

Jobs within the manufacturing, utilities and government industries are expected to decline in the coming years, according to the BLS. By 2024, manufacturing jobs are expected to drop by 814,000, utilities by 47,000 and government jobs by 383,000.

Recreational and Medical Marijuana

The cannabis industry data firm based its job projections on estimated analysis data provided by a Colorado-funded study that the state commissioned to have completed by the Marijuana Policy Group (MPG).

Twenty-eight states have legalized medical marijuana, and more are likely to implement legislation this year. Eight states have so far legalized recreational marijuana, although four are still in the process of implementing their programs. Colorado, the nation’s leading legal cannabis state, generated $1.3 billion in sales and nearly 4200 million in tax revenue in 2016. At least three states have good chances of legalizing recreational marijuana in 2017.

“New Frontier assumed that every state would have a medical and adult use market in place and low barriers to entry. This is an optimal view of the market that demonstrates what potential job creation could be if legal cannabis is operating freely and openly,” said DeCarcer.

New Frontier Data’s report, “The Cannabis Industry Annual Report: 2017 Marijuana Outlook,” is available to access here.

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Post by Eve Ripley

Eve is a writer specializing in cannabis education and editorials related to cannabis industry news.

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