The number of people working in the US cannabis industry is expected to jump to nearly 300,000 by the end of the year, slightly higher than the number of computer programmers employed in the United States.
This would be a 50% increase in jobs over 2019 levels. And projecting five years down the road, we might almost double those numbers to close to 600,000 jobs.
Provided, says the Marijuana Business Daily, the Covid pandemic doesn’t further undermine consumer spending because, for instance, Congress ends the added $600/week in federal unemployment at the end of the month.
But there may be a more optimistic way to look at this. As we reported last week, there’s a growing consensus that the job numbers could be even bigger than projected – if the US government were to legalize cannabis.
Right now cannabis is illegal federally and in 39 states. But full legalization, according to a report in Forbes, could result in over 1.6 million jobs by 2025 – triple the above estimate.
And there’s even a path to those huge job numbers: pending federal legislation that proposes to fully legalize cannabis. It’s called the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act of 2019 (the MORE Act). It was passed by the House Judiciary Committee last November and awaits approval by the full House, Senate, and . . . the President.
So as things currently stand there is no path to that increased employment.
But come November 3, that could all change.