By LeeWEpstein

February 11, 2020

The Annual Cannabis Employment Report counted 243,700 full-time equivalents (FTE) jobs in the legal cannabis industry in the USA as of January 2020.

These 243,700 jobs represent a 15% increase over 2019. Over the last 12 months, the US cannabis industry created 33,700 new jobs nationwide, the fastest growing industry in America In fact the largest increases were measured in Massachusetts, Oklahoma, and Illinois: 10,226 jobs in Massachusetts (medical and recreational) and 7,300 in Oklahoma and its medical industry alone.

Florida also experienced strong growth in 2019. With more than 300,000 registered patients, Florida now has the largest number of medical consumers in the United States .Besides this increase in patient numbers, along with the start of dried flower sales, has resulted in a 93% increase in total sales.

Also, this count does not include jobs created by the recent change in the legal status of the CBD. Since CBD is not regulated like cannabis under state licensing, there are no data available to account for employment.

Double-digit growth every year

The cannabis industry saw its first growth problems in 2019.Because the exuberant year of 2018 gave way to the reality of a slow-growing Canadian market, a reduction in investment capital, a national health crisis related to black market products to be sold and layoffs in some of the industry’s largest companies.

These setbacks were offset, however, by enormous growth in new markets such as Massachusetts, Oklahoma, and Florida.

Top Employers: California & Colorado

Despite numerous layoffs, California remains the largest legal employer of cannabis in the United States. Colorado is nevertheless the state with the most cannabis employees relative to its population, with one job per 165 inhabitants, compared with one job per 980 inhabitants for California.

In fact Both Colorado and Washington State have experienced strong growth of 8% six years after opening their retail stores. Legal stores continue to keep customers away from illegal vendors. Both states legalized cannabis in 2012. Colorado’s industry nevertheless employs nearly 10,000 more people than Washington, even though Washington has a population of nearly 2 million more.

Turbulence in California & michigan

Generally California and Michigan, 2 of the largest cannabis markets in the country, had a turbulent year in 2019 in terms of employment.

In California, in addition to the above-mentioned layoffs, the sunset of the Caregivers Act moved about 8,000 jobs from legal to non-legal status.

Similarly, Michigan’s new regulatory system has pushed hundreds of formerly legal clinics to illegal status. These jobs expected to return over the next 24 months as both states issue more licenses and return these jobs to legal status.

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