Report: Cannabis Industry Employment Grew 33% In 2021

According to Leafly’s sixth annual cannabis industry jobs report, industry employment grew about 33% in 2021.

Full story after the jump.

Leafly, in partnership with Whitney Economics, has published its sixth annual cannabis jobs report, the Seattle-based cannabis technology company shared in a press release.

The Leafly Jobs Report 2022, which looked at the 11 states with legal adult-use cannabis and the 27 states where medical cannabis is permitted, found that cannabis industry jobs increased 33% in 2021. Leafly says 2021 was the fifth year in a row the sector saw an annual growth rate greater than 27%. Additionally, the analysis found the cannabis industry currently employs 428,059 Americans and generated nearly $25 billion in sales last year, or about one-quarter of the country’s predicted total cannabis market. The report also predicts that the U.S. cannabis industry will someday employ about 1.5 to 1.75 million people — nearly four times many as today — and that the industry will be generating about $45 billion in annual sales by 2025.

“Since 2014, when the nation’s first adult-use cannabis stores opened, the industry has created hundreds of thousands of new American jobs – and there are still plenty more yet to be created. We know the potential cannabis has as both an economic driver and force for good, and it’s heartening to see employment numbers continue to reflect this strong growth. Leafly is proud to step up and fill the gap created by a lack of federal reporting, and to advocate for federal legalization that’s equitable and accessible to all communities.” — Leafly CEO Yoko Miyashita, in a press release

One of the main issues currently facing cannabis employers — like any other industry during what is being called the “Great Resignation” — is finding applicants to fill open positions. This issue could be exacerbated with states like New York, New Jersey, New Mexico and Connecticut opening their first stores in the near future, the press release says.

Other fun facts included in the report:

  • There are more people employed in the U.S. cannabis industry than there are hairstylists, barbers, and cosmetologists, combined.
  • There are three times as many cannabis workers in the U.S. as dentists.
  • The industry’s impressive hiring numbers pencil out to 280 jobs created per day and someone was hired for a cannabis-supported job every two minutes of the workday.

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