(Editor’s Note: This content is contributed by Headshop Headquarters)
The marijuana industry is almost a teen now, maturing as perfectly as an industry could. It took a lot of effort to navigate through the maze of ignorance and finally ring a bell in the ears of the government. Today, more than 50%of the U.S. population backs the recreational legalization and the stigmas are finally corroding away. When it all started, many cannabis businesses found their way around the law, operating in hideouts and in the absence of regulations. Without any researches being done in the area, or at least unbiased researches, the stigmas often were proved to be true. The competition was hard because those who operated in the black market, long before it was legalized, dominated the business arena. Still, simply opening the door to a potential successful landscape for a business was enough to guarantee a success.
Currently, the cannabis industry supports about 160,000 full-time jobs. According to the marijuana business factbook, this figure is going to be 340,000 by the year 2022.
Currently, there are six times more cannabis workers than the coal miners in the USA. there are more cannabis workers that there are Kindergarten teachers in the USA.
The pace at which the cannabis industry is generating employment and revenue, it seems like it is going to surpass the big-league industries in the coming years. The current projections and pace reflect a 21% growth per year.
To quote the marijuana business factbook — “employment across the entire U.S. health-care industry is expected to grow 2% annually, while the number of solar panel installers is projected to grow by 7% each year.”
As of now, 29 states and Washington DC have legalized the medical or recreational marijuana. If other states will also legalize the medical and recreational marijuana, it will only add to the major job growth.
Marijuana arrests are dropped by 50% post-legalization in California, and with California in the business landscape, this year’s industry sales could to McDonald’s annual revenue. This fact is enough to realize the importance of the major economic impact of the marijuana industry.
This year, the impact is estimated to be of $28 billion-$34 billion. And, according to the current projections, this impact could be of $75 billion annually by 2022.
According to marijuana business daily, the industry will garner an estimated $8 billion to $10 billion in retail sales this year and could reach $22 billion by 2022. But that is the success thus far, the success of the childhood phase, and now as the industry is stepping into adolescence, there are some changes that it requires. Perhaps it’s the work environment that needs the biggest reform. According to a study, there are too many employees in the cannabis industry that are impaired at work. Many employees either show up at work stoned or get stones somewhere in the working hours, risking their lives and the lives of others. The published in the American Journal of Industrial Medicine finds that it is due to the lack of attention to the implementation of workplace safety regulations. As the industry grows bigger by the hour the next steps are to ensure continued growth and increased professionalism.
Let’s not get stray by the dazzling growth of the cannabis industry, there are looming challenges that the industry has to face. Marijuana is still illegal at the federal level. Cannabis is a Schedule I drug under the Controlled Substances Act.
U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has stated that “until directed otherwise, he intends to enforce the policy currently in place.” Seems like the government is not going to be easy on marijuana in the near future.
But there is hope as many former congress members have reversed their opposition and more states are considering the legalization of the herb. Voters are going to decide the fate of recreational marijuana in Michigan, Missouri seems to do the same for medical marijuana as well. And according to reports, New Jersey and New York are also considering the idea of going green.