HomeNewsUSA Sees Legal Cannabis Jobs Boost

USA Sees Legal Cannabis Jobs Boost

After a couple of rough years, the USA’s legal cannabis industry has seen a significant gain in jobs – a 5.4% increase over 2023.

According to the 2024 Vangst Jobs Report (registration required), there has been a gain of 22,952 jobs in the past year. There are now 440,445 full-time equivalent jobs supported by legal cannabis in the U.S. To indicate how the job market has evolved, in 2017 there were 122,800 legal cannabis jobs across the USA.

Vangst’s report notes the top 5 cannabis job markets are:

  • California (78,618)
  • Michigan (46,746)
  • Florida (30,238)
  • Illinois (29,966)
  • Massachusetts (27,407)

Of those states, the only one to be a “medical only” jurisdiction is Florida -all the others have legal recreational marijuana. The situation in Florida could change in November, when Floridians will vote on allowing adults to use recreational marijuana. Assuming the vote is positive – and that’s looking shaky – Florida could add even more jobs.

Michigan and Missouri were the top performers in cannabis job gains over the past year, both adding more than 10,000 jobs over the 12-month timeframe.

While the cannabis industry is still being buffeted by various headwinds, Vangst credits the jobs growth to the expansion of new and maturing markets in the Midwest and East Coast. For example:

“Michigan’s astonishing growth — sales of more than $3 billion, up 33% over 2022 — continued for another year, creating more than 11,000 new jobs.”

But the gains weren’t across the board. Vangst notes several states that saw contraction during the period, including California and Colorado.

“Now more than ever, America’s cannabis industry is a state-by-state, region-by-region job market. Young markets in recently legalized states continue to expand and create employment opportunities, while labor demand in mature markets contracts along with revenue and profit margins.”

Looking ahead, Vangst is predicting steady and moderate job growth in the cannabis industry in 2024 and pegs Ohio, New York, New Jersey, and Maryland to be the stand-out states.

According to a recent Pew survey, most Americans (74%) are living in a state that has legalized cannabis in some form and  54% reside in states where the recreational use of marijuana is legal.

Gillian Jalimnson
Gillian Jalimnson is one of Hemp Gazette's staff writers and has been with us since we kicked off in 2015. Gillian sees massive potential for cannabis in areas of health, energy, building and personal care products and is intrigued by the potential for cannabidiol (CBD) as an alternative to conventional treatments. You can contact Gillian here.

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