New Jobs In Marijuana Industry To Eclipse New Manufacturing Jobs By 2020 [Opinion]

With marijuana becoming legal in several states across the country, the United States is expected to see such a boom in job growth for the weed industry that there may be more jobs here than in the manufacturing world soon. While Attorney General Jeff Sessions has seemingly gone to war with the industry, medical marijuana has been passed in several states while recreational use has been passed in some states as well. For years, however, weed was controversial.

While hurting people no more than cigarettes and alcohol, marijuana has had a bad rap due to the things it does to the human body. Many medical experts believe that if medical knowledge of cigarettes was as well known years ago, they might not have been passed to use either. Meanwhile, prohibition tried to kill off the use and sale of alcohol, but it was something most seemed to hate, even people in government positions. All this did was push for the rise of things like moonshine.

People all over the country were happy to see prohibition come to an end, but other things remained illegal. Marijuana has been illegal for years mostly for political reasons and not for health ones. This is why over the last ten years especially, Americans have been warming up to the idea that there really is no reason for it to not be legalized when worse things are available and completely legal. The war on drugs saw some marijuana dealers get decades in prison as well.

Now with the passing of marijuana in various states, either medicinal or recreational, the industry is in a boom period, and job growth is becoming quite large. Due to the tax on weed, state governments are seeing nice rise in extra funds as well. The rise in legal marijuana sales is so large in the industry that job growth makes total sense at the end of the day. Now those jobs could be open so often that they may be more available than most normal jobs.


A new report from New Frontier Data, covered by Forbes, suggested that big changes are in store for job growth in the legal marijuana industry. In fact, the growth is so large that it is expected to surpass growth in manufacturing jobs by 2020. Of course, three years from now seeing jobs open that much is insane to think. However, it could be because many states are now seeing the use in having legal marijuana that they can tax. On top of this, it lowers people involved in state prisons as well. This is due to the lack of illegal dealers, because many end up going legal instead.

Overall, statistics show that dealer crimes have done down in the states that allow legal use of weed. Therefore, the legal use that can be taxed is certainly appealing to several states, and that may very well be the reason why they’re seeing it move forward as well as it has. Plus people who vote for it also see the appeal, due to the possible legal use of something once illegal.

The rate of jobs will naturally grow with legalization passing in more states and due to the market that will certainly make it a much bigger area for job growth. When it comes to comparison to manufacturing, the Bureau of Labor Statistics claims that manufacturing jobs are actually expected to decline by a huge 814,000 by 2024. That means nearly a million jobs will be gone in the next 6 years. This could be because there are younger people involved in these jobs or simply because technology will overtake human need.

Girl smoking weed

Interestingly, since the year 2000, the United States has seen a drop of 5 million jobs in manufacturing. This is compared to 1960 when a whopping 1 in 4 Americans had manufacturing jobs. Today, it is fewer than 10. While there is more than 12 million Americans involved in jobs for the industry, there is clear knowledge that jobs here will go down. Most blame technology for the lack of jobs, and by no means are illegal immigrants the ones with huge blame like some might have assumed.

Meanwhile, New Frontier Data shows a pretty nice world for people wanting to get involved in the legal marijuana industry. By the year 2020, they claim that more than 250,000 jobs will be available in the industry. What is so interesting is that they projected this without including the possibilities of marijuana laws changing across the United States. These numbers are projected for the current industry and how it is laid out today.

That means that in spite of federal law not opening marijuana sales up in every state or states not passing it, the industry in a handicapped fashion still outweigh jobs in the manufacturing world. The estimates are done due to expected growth in legal states, which means we very well could see more vendors, shops, and plant farms/houses grow in the coming years.

The market for marijuana was huge last year, as 2016 stats show it was worth a massive $7.2 billion according to New Frontier. The growth is expected to see a 17 percent increase annually. Medical marijuana is expected to grow from the current $4.7 billion to $13.3 billion by 2020. Meanwhile, recreational sales are expected to grow from the current $2.6 billion to $11.2 billion by the year 2020.


The founder of New Frontier Data, Giadha Aguirre De Carcer, told Forbes as follows.

“These numbers confirm that cannabis is a major economic 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. 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.”

De Carcer is certainly proving his words with impressive, real-world statistics. With marijuana being completely illegal for decades, the passing of the laws in a few states allowed for other states to see how huge tax money could go up for their economy. On top of this, job growth was created as stores saw success and opened more or simply invested more in their product and needed extra hands on deck.

With the industry now becoming more and more legal across the United States, either medical only or overall in recreational, the use of it has risen. However, it has come with increased jobs, more tax money for the state, and crime rates in drug dealing dropping. There is always going to be a stigma over the industry, and it is quite controversial for sure. However, the industry has proven itself to be a place that draws revenue and growth is happening that will employ more people than the old school jobs of the past. It might be a good to consider the possibility that this could all be good for the country.

[Featured Image by Brennan Linsley/AP Images]