Legalized cannabis products are creating jobs—and opportunity.
By Rieva Lesonsky
Pot is hot—and getting hotter. According to JWTIntelligence, about 20% of American adults have access to legal marijuana. Colorado alone saw $1 billion in cannabis sales in the first eight months of 2017.
Marijuana and other cannabis products are becoming a job creation machine: The industry is expected to create nearly 300,000 jobs by 2020, says a report from New Frontier Data. CNBC reports, “Pot manufacturers and distributors, on both the recreational and medicinal sides, saw massive job creation in 2018, with 64,389 new positions added to the rolls.” That brings to 211,000 the number of jobs directly related to the industry, part of a total of 296,000 in all related areas combined, industry site Leafly says in a report it compiled with Whitney Economics. Ever since Canada legalized marijuana last summer, that nation’s industry has gotten so hot it’s importing workers to fill ever-growing job openings, according to The Denver Post.
It’s not just marijuana: Brightfield Group predicts the CBD market will soon be a $22 billion industry. According to Project CBD, CBD or Cannabidiol “is a naturally occurring compound found in the resinous flower of cannabis.” CBD is safe and non-addictive, Project CBD says, and offers “the health benefits of cannabis without the high—or less of a high.”
CBD is one of the “cannabis products with the best near-term growth opportunities,” according to MarketResearch.com: “The endurance of CBD enthusiasm will depend on whether nutraceutical derivatives prove as effective as the whole-plant originals that contain higher levels of THC, but the range of specialty CBD products already available — from bottled waters to pet supplements — show this could be the next big industry.”
There are a lot of ways into this market—and already, big companies are entering the game. Corporate giants like the makers of Corona and Modelo beers recently invested $4.0 billion for a stake in Canopy Growth, a Canadian cannabis company; Coca-Cola and PepsiCo have both expressed interest in the pot beverage market; and Scott’s Miracle-Gro has spent over $1 billion growing its pot business, according to MarketResearch.com.
The Leafly report says, “In 2019, America’s cannabis industry is one of the nation’s greatest economic success stories. That success deserves to be recognized and celebrated.”