Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, millions of Americans have lost their jobs. As of the August Jobs Report released by the U.S. Department of Labor, 13.6 million Americans were jobless in August, equaling an 8.4 percent jobless rate.
Despite being illegal on the federal level, the cannabis industry is on the rise. Currently, 11 states and the District of Columbia have legalized the use of cannabis recreationally. Additionally, 33 states, plus the District of Columbia, have legalized medical marijuana.
Marijuana Business Daily’s most recent factbook states that in 2020 medical and recreational cannabis sales will reach at least $15 billion, which is almost a 40% increase from last year. The good news is that this will have a direct impact on the number of jobs that the industry supports.
Hiring on the Rise
Marijuana Business Daily states that, “The number of people working in the U.S. cannabis industry is expected to jump to 240,000-295,000 by the end of 2020, slightly higher than the number of computer programmers employed in the United States…The anticipated rise in cannabis employment represents a nearly 50% increase over 2019 levels, which was estimated at 165,000-210,000.”
Vangst, a marijuana employment agency, recently surveyed 39 marijuana companies to better understand their response to COVID-19. According to Vangst’s report, “36% of all surveyed companies reduced headcount and 33% utilized employee furloughs to weather the impact of COVID-19, but a hiring rebound is already underway.” Marketing, IT, and Sales are all top-three hiring priorities for the second half of 2020.
With an ever growing industry and a history of being adaptable and innovative, the cannabis industry is well placed to bring about a wave of available jobs in the coming months and years. For many who have been laid off or have had a significant reduction in employment, that will likely be very welcome news.