Last Friday, Leafly released its latest annual jobs report and the numbers are encouraging. Leafly reports that the legal cannabis industry supports 243,700 full-time-equivalent jobs as of January 2020. That number grew by 33,700 new jobs over the past 12 months, which makes legal cannabis the fastest-growing industry in the United States. Massachusetts, Oklahoma, and Illinois drove much of that growth according to the report. Leafly expects the industry to continue expanding over the next year. Specifically, the report projects that both jobs and sales will see double-digit growth in 2020.
But not all of the news is as rosy. The reported 15% growth over the past year is down from a 62% increase in cannabis jobs from 2018 to 2019. And two key states—California and Michigan—actually lost cannabis jobs in 2019. California’s loss of approximately 8,000 jobs is likely due to legal cannabis sales shrinking and medical marijuana collectives losing protection under a law that was not extended. According to Leafly, Michigan lost thousands of jobs thanks to a new licensing system. Further, several high-profile cannabis companies recently announced double-digit reductions in force.
The key takeaway here is that the industry as a whole continues to grow, even in a year where it faced several setbacks. We’re encouraged about where this industry will go in 2020 and will continue to report on developments on our blog.