Saturday, March 4, 2017

Marijuana Jobs Outpace Manufacturing Jobs in the US

Ian Johnston trims medicinal marijuana plants at Tweed INC. in Smith Falls, Ontario on December 5, 2016.

Jobs in the arena of legalized marijuana are set to outpace manufacturing jobs in the United States by 2020, according to an annual report by New Frontier Data.

New Frontier Data specializes in measuring growth in the cannabis industry, and their new report claims that legalized marijuana will create an estimated 300,000 new jobs over the next three years. The data is based on the 28 states that have some form of legalized marijuana. The number of jobs is likely to grow, if additional states implement the legalization of medicinal or recreational marijuana in coming years.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, manufacturing jobs have been in a steady decline, and are expected to lose some 814,000 jobs by 2024.

Projections for the cannabis industry do not only outpace manufacturing however, but are also expected to surpass job creation in the utility industry, the service sector, agriculture, and the federal government.

“These numbers confirm that cannabis is a major economic driver and job creation engine for the US economy,” said Giadha Aguirre De Carcer, founder and CEO of New Frontier Data. “While we see a potential drop in total number of US 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 3 to 5 years, however with a 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 US.”

The new report comes amid confusion, as the Trump administration has signaled a crackdown on enforcing federal drug laws which still ban marijuana, despite voters in many states opting for its legalization. During his campaign however, he had stated that it would be an issue best left up to the individual states.

“I’m dubious about marijuana. I’m not sure we’re going to be a better, healthier nation if we have marijuana sold at every corner grocery store,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a meeting with state attorney generals on Tuesday.

During Sessions’ confirmation hearings, however, he had stated that federal enforcement of marijuana laws would not be a priority of the Trump administration.

“This administration should respect science and, at the very least, needs to uphold the president’s repeated campaign pledges to respect state cannabis laws,” Tom Angell, who heads the pro-legalization group Marijuana Majority, told the Hill.