Cannabis legalization is a big hit! Despite what opponents of cannabis legalization have to say about it, it’s working. Cannabis legalization has increased job availability across many legal sectors of employment, including the agricultural industry.
Cannabis and the Workforce
Cannabis legalization has spread across America. According to the National Conference of State Legislators (NCSL), “As of Feb. 3, 2022, 37 states, three territories and the District of Columbia allow the medical use of cannabis products. As of Nov. 9, 2022, 21 states, two territories and the District of Columbia have enacted measures to regulate cannabis for adult non-medical use.” Americans have and continue to support cannabis legalization.
Pew Research Center “found that 88% of US adults are on board with marijuana legalization for either recreational or medical use.” Cannabis legalization generates massive amounts of revenue. Flowhub says, “Nearly $3 billion in retail cannabis taxes were collected in 2022.” That’s $3 billion that used to easily belong to the illegal market.
That $3 billion is only the tip of the iceberg. According to MJBizDaily, “The total U.S. economic impact from marijuana sales in 2022 is expected to reach $99 billion—up more than 20% from last year—and upwards of $155 billion in 2026, according to analysis from the newly published MJBiz Factbook.”
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Cannabis Agriculture Continues to Thrive
The agriculture sector is one area that is benefitting heavily from cannabis legalization. Rising consumer demand, supply chain shortages, and weather phenomena combined with inflation, and we see issues that are greatly impacting the agricultural community. At a time when it’s needed most, cannabis is helping generate jobs in this struggling sector.
Reports show jobs in the agriculture sector of the cannabis industry have increased. As cannabis legalization continues to happen across the nation, the demand for a larger workforce in the agricultural section will be a given. Cannabis plants don’t grow themselves; they require a lot of attention. There is a great amount of detail that goes into cultivating a successful crop of cannabis consistently. It takes all kinds of knowledgeable individuals to help with everything from ventilation, HVAC, and plumbing to lighting and microbial containment.
In 2017 MJBizDaily said, “With 165,000-230,000 full- and part-time workers, the U.S. cannabis industry has quickly become a major job generator. Cannabis-related businesses now employ more people than there are dental hygienists and bakers in the United States and will soon surpass the number of telemarketers and pharmacists.” In September of 2021, the Seattle Times said, “An estimated 321,000 Americans now work in the industry, a 32 percent increase from last year, the report found, making legal marijuana one of the nation’s fastest-growing sectors. In other words: The United States now has more legal cannabis workers than dentists, paramedics, or electrical engineers.”
It’s high time the U.S. federal government ends marijuana prohibition altogether. Imagine the potential increase in jobs throughout multiple sectors if cannabis were to become legal nationwide. The 2024 election year is quickly approaching, and with some luck, we’ll finally see an end to federal marijuana prohibition.