Cars to Cannabis: can the marijuana industry become the next big job creator?

Skymint Cannabis Farms

Skymint Cannabis Farms

Skymint Cannabis CEO Jeff Radway has an interesting article in Rolling Stone wondering if the cannabis industry can become a 21st century employment driver as autos did in the last century:

…Today, Michigan is a place of absences. U.S.-bred industries like the automotive have moved overseas, and frankly — many think that a new Model T would be welcomed. I think that it’s here already.

We call it cannabis — and it’s an industry with unparalleled potential.

For example, according to a recent report by the cannabis media platform Leafly, there are more legal cannabis professionals nationwide than there are electrical engineers, dentists and paramedics. In Michigan, more than half of those cannabis-related jobs were added just in 2020 alone. Referring specifically to Michigan, the report dryly notes, “In a state known for its auto industry, the number of cannabis workers is now roughly equal to the number of auto repair mechanics.”

All told, the Leafly report estimates that the jobs added across the U.S. in 2020 number over 77,000, representing a “32% year over year job growth, an astonishing figure in the worst year for U.S. economic growth since World War II.” In fact, since 2017, the U.S. cannabis industry has averaged 27.5% growth, which is unmatched by any other industry in the country. Meanwhile, the rest of the U.S. economy contracted by 3.5%, unemployment overall doubled, and some 10 million workers lost their jobs entirely.

…In 2020, according to Leafly’s findings, our industry sold $18.3 billion worth of product and supported 321,000 full-time jobs. The cannabis industry created this value last year without access to the regular security of banking and without even basic insurance programs available to every other business. Across the country, the industry did it with a concurrent illicit market competing against us every step of the way. We did it without being able to sell products between states as we do with automobiles or soybeans. Our industry is the industry of the 21st century — and it may just save us all.

More in the Rolling Stone.

photo courtesy Skymint Cannabis on Instagram