How Marijuana Legalization will Improve the Job Market

marijuana plant

The world is rapidly changing its stance on marijuana. Several countries around the globe have ruled in favor of full decriminalization and legalization. In the United States alone, eight states have declared full legalization of medical and recreational marijuana use. It's easy to see why these governments have changed their minds with regard to cannabis. There are clear economic benefits from doing so. One major, undeniable effect, in particular, is the creation of new jobs to facilitate the booming industry.

More than a quarter of a million U.S. jobs by 2020

According to a report from New Frontier Data, an analytics company specializing in the cannabis industry, by the year 2020, the marijuana market will create more than 250 thousand jobs. This figure will far outstrip the expected jobs from the utilities, manufacturing, and government sector, based on the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' data. In fact, by the year 2024,
manufacturing jobs are expected to be in the downturn by around 814 thousand. Utility jobs are expected to lose around 47 thousand. Government jobs will be cut by 383 thousand. Based on the same report, the legal marijuana industry is estimated to be valued at $7.2 billion as of 2016, with expectations of compound growth at 17%. These estimates are based only on the states that have fully legalized the substance. With more states joining on the marijuana legalization bandwagon, these figures are bound to balloon even more.

Marijuana-related jobs on the uptake

Growers, harvesters, couriers

With surging demand due to legalization, more growers and harvesters will be needed to ramp up production. Growers will need to be trained in the fine art of cultivating cannabis to produce
the best varieties and harvests. Seed harvesters, sellers, and couriers, like in regular agriculture, are part of this life cycle and will be seeing more job openings soon.

"Cannapreneurs"

Entrepreneurs invested in the cannabis industry are called "cannapreneurs". Owning a dispensary and selling strains of the substance is bound to be a lucrative enterprise, given the upsurge in demand. The culinary arts are a synergistic industry that works well with the cannabis market. Edibles – cannabis-infused food and beverage – are quickly gaining popularity as well. Enterprising cooks and bakers can easily take advantage of the upswing by introducing their own recipes into the fray. Marijuana-infused cuisine is mostly uncharted territory – at least for now.

Marijuana tourism

The tourism sector has long benefited from the legalization of marijuana. Just look at the city of Amsterdam in the Netherlands and you will find a booming tourism and commercial sector that has grown over the years. Now that other countries and U.S. states have followed suit, it's only natural to expect marijuana-themed tourism as part of a place’s major attractions.

Closing thoughts

It's high time that the world realizes the socio-economic benefits of legalizing cannabis. The substance is less destructive and less addictive compared to existing substances like alcohol and nicotine. If its intake and abuse negatively affects one’s job performance, tests such as a marijuana drug test kit can be administered to make sure employees are sober at work. Why not take advantage of the financial and medicinal benefits of cannabis? Aside from the booming tax revenues gained from regulating the marijuana trade, governments stand to gain more in the form of job creation. Legalizing marijuana leads to the creation of jobs to fill the surging demand, as seen in various U.S. states and analyst projections all over the globe.

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