Despite popular belief, tech is not the fastest-growing industry in the United States, cannabis is.
In 2018, nearly 65,000 jobs have sprung up in the growing cannabis industry. It is a 44 percent increase from the previous year, according to Whitney Economics and Leafy. Last year, according to the same report, cannabis sales bumped up 34 percent (almost $11 billion).
Today, there are approximately 210,000 to 300,000 legal cannabis-related jobs in the United States. This includes direct jobs as well as indirect jobs such as suppliers, contractors, and financing.
To be crystal clear, in comparison to the brewery industry, there are less than 70,000 workers. The coal mining industry employs roughly 52,000, while the textile industry employs just around 112,000.
Technically, the Bureau of Labor Statistics doesn’t track jobs in the cannabis industry as they are federally illegal, though 34 states have legal medical marijuana laws and ten states have recreational marijuana laws.
Also according to this report, California became one of the leading job creators in the legal cannabis industry. It is also projected that the state will create an additional 10,000 jobs within 2019. That said, the black market is still alive and booming in California.
Job growth has been shown all across the board in states where cannabis has been legalized. Even in Colorado and Washington where cannabis has been legal for half a decade, the rate of job growth is only now even showing signs of slowing (or stabilizing).
Flordia also saw a vivid increase in its cannabis sector with the legalization of medical cannabis. For example, 1,290 jobs were listed in 2018, while this year well over 10,000 have been listed. This is due in large part to the 100,000 new medical marijuana patients that signed up in the past 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,” states the report.
Other states with medical cannabis workers include New York and New Jersey. Currently, they employ over 7,400 workers. Washing and Colorado states employ just over 65,000 workers in the cannabis industry.
That said, cannabis jobs pay 11 percent more than the median salary of 52,863 according to the website Glassdoor. Also according to the website, Green Thumb industries is the largest cannabis employer in the United States. Based in Chicago, the company employes 450 workers and has 57 current job listings on Glassdoor.
Another aspect to consider when it comes to the fastest-growing industry in the United States (cannabis), is the banking industry. At the moment, banks aren’t willing to work with the industry, due to the federal level laws making it illegal. Legislation protecting the banking industry from punishment from the federal government may turn all of this around and cause another increase in the industry which is already growing faster than any other.