Report: Legal Marijuana Industry Employs Over 240,000 Full-Time Workers

Jobs in the state-licensed cannabis industry rose 15 percent during the past 12 months, and the industry now employs over 243,000 full-time workers, according to data compiled by

Commenting on the jobs data, NORML Executive Director Erik Altieri said: “The legal cannabis industry is one of the fastest growing employment sectors in America in spite of the challenges it faces due to marijuana’s federal criminal classification. These new numbers only further underscore the need to end prohibition and allow the state programs to operate as intended.”

According to its 2020 report, the regulated cannabis industry added 32,700 new jobs over the past year. States adding the greater number of new cannabis-related jobs were Massachusetts (10,266 jobs) and Oklahoma (7,300 jobs). Overall, the total number of full-time jobs in the licensed cannabis industry has doubled since 2017.

“The refusal [of the federal government] to acknowledge the existence of legal cannabis jobs is a powerful act of shaming and stigmatization,” the report concludes. “There are now nearly a quarter of a million Americans whose professional lives are categorized as [either] illegal or nonexistent by the government of the United States. … If cannabis industry jobs were tallied like other jobs, … legal cannabis would be acknowledged as the fastest growing industry in America.”

Full text of the study, “Leafly Jobs Report 2020,” appears online here. Additional information is available in the NORML fact-sheet, ‘Marijuana Regulation: Impact on Health, Safety, Economy.’