Marijuana Industry to Create 283,000 Jobs by 2020, Report Projects

The most serious potential obstacle to fast growth in cannabis employment is the Trump Administration.
Marijuana Industry to Create 283,000 Jobs by 2020, Report Projects
Image credit: Heath Korvola | Getty Images

The river of reports projecting big growth for the legal marijuana industry continues to flow, with a report released this month projecting a huge increase of both jobs and total revenue.

New Frontier Data projects total market sales for cannabis will reach $24 billion nationwide by 2020. They also project the industry will created about 283,000 jobs over the next three years. Those numbers include a projected slow down over the next three to five years in the rapid growth of the industry.

“These numbers confirm that cannabis is a major economic driver and job creation engine for the U.S. economy,” Giadha Aguirre De Carcer, CEO of New Frontier Data, said in a prepared statement.

Related: How Do We Measure the Statistical Significance of Legal Cannabis?

Projected Marijuana Sales

Founded in 2014, New Frontier Data is headquartered in Washington D.C., with offices also in Denver. The company specialized in providing insights into the cannabis industry with statistical analysis. The new report offers projections for both medical and recreational use.

Some uncertainty exists because states that legalized recreational, adult-use marijuana last November are still working on setting up the regulatory systems for legal marijuana sales.

Those states include California, Massachusetts, Maine and Nevada. Alaska, Colorado, Oregon and Washington already have legal adult-use cannabis. As for medical marijuana, 28 states and the District of Columbia have approved medical marijuana sales.

Related: Marijuana Lobby Grows As Legalization Spreads Throughout Country

Another area of uncertainty is President Donald Trump’s position on legal marijuana. Most of the focus has been on new Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who in the past has been a vocal opponent of legalized marijuana. So far he has offered no indication what, if any, changes he might make in the federal government’s approach to states making marijuana legal.

Marijuana remains illegal at the federal level.

With those caveats, the New Frontier Data report projects that by 2020:

  • Medical marijuana sales will have increased from $4.7 billion to $13.3 billion
  • Recreational marijuana sales will have increased from $2.6 billion to $11.2 billion
  • By 2025, total marijuana sales will reach $24 billion and almost 300,000 people will work in the industry

A Time of Decline

New Frontier Data also notes that during this period of expected growth, the overall United States economy is expected to slow. The company’s news release cites a Kiplinger report anticipating a slowdown in job creation in 2017 and a drop in the rate of GDP growth.

Related: Study Finds Most Investors Comfortable With Businesses That 'Touch' Marijuana

“The cannabis industry continues to be a positive contributing factor to growth at a time of potential decline,” Aguirre De Carcer said.

The full report, called “The Cannabis Industry Annual Report: 2017 Legal Marijuana Outlook,” will be released soon. More information is available on the company’s website.

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