Community Issues

Legal Weed Has the Potential to Be a Jobs Boom

Available positions range from retail to highly paid executives.

An oft-cited argument in favor of marijuana legalization is the potential tax revenue, which can be used to pay for education, public safety or infrastructure.

But a new report from the New York Times points to another benefit--the potential for new jobs in communities across America.

Medicinal marijuana is now legal in 33 states, and recreation use is legal in 10 states and the District of Columbia. According to the New York Times, "the cannabis industry has become, by some measures, one of the country's fastest-growing job sectors."

And the new jobs are not limited to a narrow skill set. The report points to positions including agricultural work, retail positions and roles for specialists like chemists, engineers and nurses. A ZipRecruiter economist put the number of cannabis jobs nationwide at 200,000 to 300,000, including both hourly and salaried positions.

The report mentions that investment in the cannabis industry has caught the attention of Wall Street, and several companies that are American in all but name but unable to list in the United States' trade on the Canadian Securities Exchange (where marijuana became legal six months ago).

Cannabis use still remains illegal at a federal level in the United States, which presents challenges. But at least one finance executive "projects that the legal United States cannabis market will grow to $80 billion by 2030, a forecast that assumes federal legalization."

Multiple candidates for President in 2020 have embraced marijuana legalization as part of their campaign platforms, and a recent CBS News poll found support for legalization at a record high .

Earlier this year, a bill was introduced in the Pennsylvania House and Senate to legalize recreational use .

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