More than 320,000 Americans work in cannabis, according to a new report from Leafly. As the pandemic devastated entire sectors of the economy last year, the legal cannabis sector added 77,300 jobs, more than twice as many as it added in 2019.
The country has more than twice as many cannabis workers as dentists. The job growth, which includes plant-touching and ancillary companies, is all the more remarkable since only about a dozen states account for close to 90% of legal U.S. cannabis sales.
- There’s an asterisk: Marijuana’s federal illegality probably inflates the number of jobs in the industry. Without interstate trade, and the economies of scale it allows, companies that want to operate in more than one market essentially have to duplicate their operations in each.
- For comparison, Marlboro’s canna-curious parent company Altria, generates almost 50% more revenue than the cannabis industry with fewer than 9,000 employees.