An estimated 100,000 people are currently employed in California’s marijuana industry, but that number could grow 10-fold within a few years, according to the California Cannabis Industry Association.
There is one big “if,” though. That’s if California actually gets around to legalizing it next year.
It does seem extremely likely: A well-financed legalization campaign will almost certainly make the ballot next year, and the latest polls have a majority for legalization. And it will be a presidential election year, spurring the turnout of young people, who tend to be even more supportive of freeing the weed.
If California legalizes it, the industry will be primed for rapid expansion and could generate a million jobs within eight years, said the group’s executive director Nate Bradley.
That would make pot the7th largest economic sector in the state, behind health care (2.1 million jobs), the retail trade (1.6 million jobs), hotels and restaurants (1.4 million), education (1.3 million), manufacturing (1.25 million), and professional, scientific, and technical services (1.15 million). There would be more workers in marijuana than in administrative and support services (982,000), government (802,000), the wholesale trade (695,000), construction trades (643,000), transportation and warehousing (538,000), finance and insurance (524,000), and information technology (457,000), according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
“There’s testing labs, packaging companies, wholesalers, processing companies, extraction companies, edible companies,” Bradley told News 10 in Sacramento. “And that’s on top of the cultivators and dispensary workers that most likely come to mind when you hear ‘pot jobs.'”
And don’t forget related and subsidiary jobs: Pot delivery drivers. Bud, bed, and breakfast operators. Grow shop operators and employees. Growing equipment manufacturers. And, one hopes, pot social club owners. This list is far from exhaustive.
Even limited to medical marijuana, the maturing industry is already seeing more innovation that anyone could have imagined even a few years ago. Not only are there delivery services, there are niche companies facilitating delivery services.
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