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500,000 Jobs Created in U.S. and Canada From Legal Cannabis Industry

No large industry on earth is increasing in size as quickly as the emerging international cannabis industry.

Cannabis is still prohibited in more countries than it is legal for medical or recreational use. However, the ratio becomes more favorable with every passing year.

Even in countries where cannabis laws were reformed and the legal industry currently operates, laws, rules, and regulations are evolving.

The legal industry is just scraping the surface from a job-creation standpoint, although that doesn’t mean that a significant number of legal cannabis jobs don’t already exist.

United States and Canada

Two economic analysis reports were recently released that both explored the number of legal cannabis industry jobs, with one focusing on Canada and the other on the United States.

Canada legalized cannabis for adult use at the national level in late 2018, becoming the first G-7 nation to do so.

Cannabis remains prohibited at the federal level in the United States. However, dozens of states have legalized cannabis for medical and/or adult use and are home to thriving state-level cannabis industries.

According to consulting firm Deloitte, Canada’s legal cannabis industry now sustains over 90,000 jobs. Meanwhile, the United States now sustains over 428,000 legal cannabis industry jobs.

Exponential Growth

In addition to creating over 90,000 jobs, Canada’s cannabis industry has generated over $11 billion in sales since late 2018.

Colorado was the first state to launch legal adult-use sales in the U.S. back in 2014. In just 2020 and 2021 alone, Colorado brought in over $2 billion from cannabis taxes and fees each year.

As Canada continues to increase cannabis product exports to other countries, more jobs, tax revenues, and boosts to local economies will be created.

Current numbers suggest the same will happen in the United States as it continues to move towards a nationally legalized industry.

Author

  • Johnny Green is the Media and Content Director for the International Cannabis Business Conference and has blogged about cannabis since January 2010.

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