Cannabis Grows as an Industry in the United States
The cannabis industry, despite being relatively new, is growing at impressive rates in the United States. This is occurring despite the pandemic, and some believe that the pandemic could have even helped the industry. Consider the fact that in 2020, people in the United States spent $18.3 billion on cannabis products. This was up 71% from 2019. Of course, the pandemic and more people being at home is not the only reason for the increase. The fact that more states are becoming open to legalized, recreational marijuana is making a huge impact.
Many worried at the start of 2020 that the pandemic might cause cannabis operations to shut down. However, many governors considered it to be an essential business, partially because people use medical marijuana. This means that the dispensaries were open for business, allowing them to grow and thrive in a difficult time. They were able to adjust to provide online ordering and delivery, as well as curbside pickup. It was relatively easy for them to make this transition to comply with the COVID-19 safety requirements. People also liked being able to order so easily.
Job Growth and Industry Growth Continues
Cannabis is one of the most impressive industries currently operating and creating jobs in the United States. Even during 2020, a year that decimated many companies with a recession and with a pandemic, cannabis remained strong. In 2019, 33,700 there were new jobs in the industry. In 2020, another 77,000 jobs were added. As the economy continues to recover, the number of jobs will likely continue to increase.
It is important to note that the number of sales did increase more than the number of jobs added in 2020. There are several reasons for this. In some cases, the social distancing and occupancy limits reduced the need to hire additional staff, which affected some companies. Other companies had problems on the opposite end of the spectrum where they had employees have to quarantine and stay home rather than going to work, and they needed new hires on a short-term basis. It also led to staff turnover in some locations. Overall, though, the future of the job market in cannabis looks very strong.
The consumer demand remains strong, and this is not likely to change. People are more likely to buy from legitimate businesses than to buy from illegal sellers, which means a need for more dispensaries and added jobs will continue in the coming years. By 2025, it is estimated that it will become a $41 billion industry. By 2030, it could be up to $85 billion in sales. Consider that it was a $13.2 billion industry in 2019, and you can see how amazing this growth is proving to be. Both medical and adult-use sales are expected to continue rising.
Keep in mind that there are still many states where recreational use is not legal. As more and more of these states start to see the tax benefits that come from allowing for marijuana sales, more of them will likely start to change their laws. This means that there is potential for the cannabis industry to grow even faster.
What is Causing These Changes?
You don’t have to be very old to remember the massive stigma that surrounded marijuana and its use. It’s only the past decade or two that has seen some real change in this field. Before that, there was the mistaken belief held by many people that marijuana was the “devil’s weed” and that it was responsible for all manner of crimes. The truth of the matter is that the illegality of the drug caused the crimes rather than the drug itself.
It’s not much different from the amount of crime that occurred when the United States entered Prohibition. It took some time for the US to get rid of prohibition, but it eventually happened. Many of the crimes like bootlegging, illegal stills, etc. that were associated with illegal alcohol faded after it was repealed.
By making marijuana legal, it has the same potential. There are dangers to illegal marijuana operations, but the legalization of the drug can help to reduce these problems greatly.
Of course, another one of the reasons that the stigma around marijuana has started to fade is because of the research that’s occurred and is still occurring. We’re finding out that the plant can provide benefits to many medical conditions, for example. We’re also finding out that it’s not dangerous as so many were led to believe due to decades and decades of propaganda.
Research has shown that most people in the United States believe that marijuana should be made legal. It’s currently around 67%. Compare this with the year 2000 where it was 31%. Go back a little further in time, and you’ll see that in 1969 it was only 12%. The low acceptance rate at that time can be traced to disinformation campaigns about marijuana and its ties to “supposedly dangerous movements” in the country at the time, such as civil rights and anti-war demonstrations. Marijuana at the time was considered “un-American”. Fortunately, times have changed, at least in some ways.
Plenty of Opportunities Are Available
With the growth of the marijuana industry, it is providing a wide range of opportunities for people. People are starting to open dispensaries and growing facilities. There are labs that specialize in testing, there are jobs for budtenders, delivery people, and so much more. There are even investment opportunities available. Of course, there are also opportunities for those that work in a related industry, such as those making marijuana-related products, such as weed containers or pipes, for example.
There are plenty of changes and great things happening in the industry. Whether you are someone who consumes or someone who wants to get a job in the field, there are good things coming. It’s an exciting time, as we get to watch all of this unfold and be a part of it.