For the First Time Ever, Ontario’s Legal Cannabis Sales Exceed the Illicit Market’s
by Chane Leigh
As of January 2020, reports show there are more than 243,700 individuals employed full-time thanks to the legal cannabis sector. Legal cannabis has stepped up to become America’s fastest-growing industry. There was a 15% year-over-year increase from 2019 to 2020 in job growth within the sector.
During that year, the cannabis industry expanded its workforce, creating an estimated 33,700 jobs across the nation. Leading that expansion of job opportunities are states such as Illinois, Massachusetts, and Oklahoma. 7,300 + jobs were added to Oklahoma’s medical cannabis market in the last year alone. The average budtender makes an hourly wage between $10 and $16 an hour.
Employment is one of the most significant concerns in America. Unemployment rates have fluctuated over the years, with the current rate sitting around 3.6%. The legal cannabis industry has suffered slowdowns and obstacles from many different directions. Lawmakers, judges, and even in time, advocates have hampered the progress of legalization.
The big issue comes in with so many people wanting to make so much money on cannabis creating such excessive taxes. If you tax a product at 30 or 40%, it would seem you’re asking for a black market to boom.
Legalizing cannabis without excessive taxes would open the door for employment opportunities across the country. Considering what cannabis is capable of doing in regards to offering jobs, it would seem this would be a great idea. Currently, the unemployment rate in America is at the lowest it has been since December of 1969.
This could be a sign that cannabis legalization is doing more than just providing large amounts of tax revenue for states. It could be showing that cannabis legalization is also helping to provide job opportunities for the many unemployed Americans out there.
Colorado and California seem to be the big players when it comes to cannabis jobs. In Colorado, it’s estimated that one out of every 165 residents has a cannabis job, whereas, in California, it’s one out of every 980 residents. The top 10 job producing legal cannabis states in order are California, Colorado, Washington, Oregon, Florida, Arizona, Nevada, Massachusetts, Oklahoma, and Illinois.
Just imagine if all of America were to have legal access to cannabis. If the federal government would remove their decades-old draconian stance of cannabis prohibition opportunities for Americans would increase substantially in the area of work and financial stability.
The legal cannabis industry doesn’t just employ growers and budtenders. There are many different facets of the industry involved in the cannabis sector. Engineers, architects, IT specialists, accountants, lawyers, security experts, and many other professional fields all have essential roles in the legal cannabis sector.
Just like cannabis prohibition of the past painted a delusional image of what a cannabis consumer is, it also painted a delusional picture of the type of professions involved with this business. As cannabis legalization sweeps the nation, we’re bound to see an influx in the number of jobs created by this budding industry, as we have seen each year.
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