(BusinessInsider) A new report from New Frontier Data, a business intelligence firm focused on cannabis, projects the legal weed market will create more than a quarter of a million jobs by 2020. In comparison, manufacturing jobs are expected to decline by 814,000 by 2024, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
2016 was a watershed year for the budding industry. Eight states voted to legalize pot in some form, bringing the number of states with comprehensive medical marijuana laws to 28. One in five Americans can legally get high without a letter from a doctor.
As more people leave the black market for the safety, convenience, and product diversity that legal dispensaries offer, the industry’s job growth could explode.
Legal marijuana businesses employed an estimated 100,000 to 150,000 workers in January, according to the Marijuana Business Daily. That estimate includes growers, scientists, dispensary employees, and tech entrepreneurs developing ancillary services like the “Yelp of weed” or “Uber for pot.”