Weed Workers Will Outnumber Computer Programmers By End Of 2020

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If you’re looking for work amid the pandemic and live in a legal state, the cannabis industry is hiring. New data published in the 2020 edition of the annual Marijuana Business Factbook reports the U.S. cannabis industry is expected to add almost 250,000 full-time jobs between 2020 and 2024.

The cannabis industry employed around 165,000-210,000 workers in 2019, but the number is expected to jump 50% by year’s end — or, 240,000-295,000 workers. These figures represent those who work directly with the plant as well as those employed in ancillary services, including consultants and lawyers, that support the industry.

Should the cannabis industry add that number of workers, it would outpace the numbers of computer programmers, librarians, steel workers, and journalists currently employed.

“There is the potential for cannabis sales to slow if the economic pain caused by the COVID-19 pandemic becomes more pronounced,” reads the Marijuana Business Factbook, which written by the editors of Marijuana Business Daily. “If so, growth in marijuana industry jobs might stall. So far, sales have held relatively steady through the coronavirus crisis. But that could change.”

A recent poll by Verilife dispensaries reported that millennials and boomers are on average spending $27 more per month since the pandemic outbreak. Total combined recreational and medical cannabis sales in the U.S. is anticipated to break $15 billion by year’s end, about a 40% increase from 2019 sales data. That represents more total revenue than the NBA generated in 2019.

State lawmakers in New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, and Pennsylvania have all suggested recreational marijuana legalization to boost local economies hit by the pandemic. Financial analysts have also suggested federal legalization would also become more likely next year should Democrats sweep the 2020 Election.