Cannabis Jobs May Outnumber Computer Programmers By End of 2020
The cannabis curious have kept marijuana sales on a strong growth trend through the coronavirus pandemic, leading one respected industry source to predict the industry will support more than 250,000 cannabis jobs by the end of 2020.
What’s more, projections for 2024 calls for between 470,000 and 575,000 jobs in the cannabis industry.
Both sets of cannabis job numbers come from the Marijuana Business Factbook. Published by Marijuana Business Daily, industry experts regard the factbook as a leading resource on current and projected cannabis-related information and statistics.
What does this mean for consumers? They can expect the many options currently in the cannabis marketplace to continue to grow. And those looking for cannabis jobs will find there are plenty to go around.
Cannabis Jobs Expected to Hit a Quarter Million
Based on current sales trends, the factbook projects that the number of cannabis jobs in the United States will reach between 240,000 and 295,000 by the end of 2020, a range that could mean more cannabis jobs than computer programmers nationwide. It also would represent a 50% increase over the 2019 job numbers.
Cannabis jobs counted in these statistics include dispensary jobs such as budtender or cashier. They also include jobs in areas that support the marijuana industry, including transportation, legal and consulting businesses.
Enormous sales growth drives the job number projections. Estimates vary, but many experts believe sales of recreational and medical marijuana could reach $15 billion by the end of the year. Sales records have been set in many states, including Colorado, Florida, Arizona and Oklahoma.
Industry Sales Structure Also Drives Growth
The laws that govern cannabis also contribute to growth. The biggest factor requires the industry to sell all cannabis products (except CBD) in a standalone dispensary. As pointed out in the factbook, existing retail pharmacies could add cannabis sales with just two or three more employees.
They wrote that “if marijuana could be sold in traditional stores, the number of retail jobs supported by the cannabis industry would likely be a fraction of what it is now.”
However, the current structure of how cannabis is sold is not expected to change. That translates into a rosy outlook for cannabis jobs and consumers. The only factor that stands in the way is the COVID-19 pandemic. It may take many months, even years, to see whether the virus has a deep and long-lasting impact on the economy beyond 2020.
But for the most part, projections remain incredibly positive. That’s good news for job hunters. It’s also good news for cannabis consumers who will reap the benefits of businesses creating better products in a competitive marijuana market.