Soon There Could Be More U.S. Weed Workers Than Pharmacists, Says Study

Already, weed jobs are surpassing popular industries, signaling major job growth once the herb is legalized.

Legal or illegal, the U.S. cannabis market is booming. As such, legislators would be smart to assist weed innovators, as they would any other up-and-coming industry––a fact bolstered by one new report. 

According to the Marijuana Business Factbook 2017, published by Marijuana Business Daily in May, the U.S. cannabis industry currently employs between 165,000 and 230,000 American workers in full and part-time jobs. 

According to the survey, which drew on data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor statistics, in the U.S., there are more weed industry folks than there are bakers and massage therapists. But honestly, we’re going to need a consistent flow of all three of the previously mentioned occupations, if this whole legal weed thing is going to work. What’s a good high, without a delectable pastry and a soothing shoulder rub?

Moving forward, weed-related jobs are likely to eclipse the traditionally popular jobs of telemarketers and pharmacists. Though this shouldn’t be all that surprising, considering telemarketing has a 99 percent chance of being automated (according to an NPR report, but also common sense. Those guys are the worst, anyway.) Recognizing the fact that just more than a handful of states have legalized recreational marijuana so far, should make the rapid growth of these cannabis-related jobs even more promising.

Wait, but, how did MJ Business Daily come up with these stats?

According to the publication, “Employment figures were calculated using a variety of methodologies, including the use of survey data regarding the average number of employees for each type of company in the industry.” They then estimated how many weedy companies currently operate in the U.S., and using those numbers, then extrapolated the weedy jobs in total. As of now, most cannabis companies would be considered as small businesses and startups, employing a limited number of employees. Should cannabis ever be legalized at the federal level, this number would likely expand, and companies will be able to scale without the legal headaches associated with peddling a controlled substance.

And with California’s recreational market projected to rake in as much as $5 billion in one year of retail sales, the Golden State weed business could be a good testing ground for national canna-job growth.