The spread of legal cannabis is projected to create more than 20,000 jobs in the next 5 years. Here's a look at how many roles will be open for hiring in each state.

  • On November 3, four states voted to pass recreational cannabis legislation while two voted to pass medical cannabis programs.
  • The cannabis industry is expected to hire for tens of thousands of new positions in the coming years as these programs roll out, according to data from cannabis recruitment platform Vangst.
  • Politicians pushing for cannabis legislation have argued that these programs would help create jobs and  tax revenue.
  • In New Jersey, which recently voted to to legalize recreational cannabis market, more than 19,000 jobs could be created by 2025.
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States with newly passed cannabis programs are expected to create tens of thousands of new jobs over the next five years.

On November 3, four states — New Jersey, Arizona, Montana, and South Dakota — voted to legalize recreational cannabis legislation while two — South Dakota and Mississippi — voted to create medical cannabis programs.

All of these states are expected to benefit economically from their new programs in the coming years.

That's especially true for a state like New Jersey, which is expected to have a robust adult-use program that will benefit from its high population and proximity to other high density states like New York. New Jersey alone is projected to add 19,037 cannabis-related jobs by 2025, according to a report by cannabis recruitment platform Vangst, which tracks employment trends in the industry.

In states like Arizona and New Jersey, which already have established medical cannabis markets, recruitment is expected to focus on product expansion in their new adult-use markets, according to Sean Cooley, Vangst's head of content and SEO at Vangst. Edibles manufacturers especially are expected to see a big jump in job growth, said Cooley.

Cooley told Business Insider that Vangst has already seen an uptick in hiring in states that passed cannabis initiatives earlier this month. In the fourth quarter of 2020 so far, from October, there has been a 17% increase in hiring in Arizona and New Jersey compared to the same period in 2019.

"Depending on how the regulations differentiating medical and adult use products pan out, we're likely to see the trendline of production jobs — horticulturists, scientists, compliance specialists — coming into the state first," he said. Retail positions like budtenders and inventory managers are expected to come later on, he added.

Vangst's projections are based on sources like job reports from cannabis website Leafly, market projections from cannabis analysis company New Frontier Data, Marijuana Business Factbook, as well as Vangt's own hiring data.  They take into account how quickly other states in the US came online after passing adult-use bills.

A total of 26,241 jobs are projected to be created in these five new markets, according to Vangst. 

New Jersey is projected to add 19,037 jobs by 2025.

Medical Marijuana Approved: 2010

Recreational Marijuana Approved: 2020

2019 Sales: $100,000,000

Current Cannabis Jobs: 2,356

Projected 2025 Sales: $1,200,000,000

Projected 2025 Jobs: 21,393 (+19,037)

Montana will add 3,119 cannabis-related jobs.

Medical Marijuana Approved: 2016

Recreational Marijuana Approved: 2020

2019 Sales: $92,000,000

Current Cannabis Jobs: 1,800

Projected 2025 Sales: $175,000,000

Projected 2025 Jobs: 3,119 (+3,119)

South Dakota's new adult-use and medical programs are projected to create 2,531 jobs by 2025

Medical Marijuana Approved: 2020

Recreational Marijuana Approved: 2020 (South Dakota is the first state in the US to pass both medical and adult-use programs at the same time)

2019 Sales: $0

Current Cannabis Jobs: 0

Projected 2025 Sales: $142,000,000

Projected 2025 Jobs: 2,531 (+2,531)

Mississippi's medical program is expected to create 1,176 jobs.

Medical Marijuana Approved: 2020

Recreational Marijuana Approved: Still illegal

2019 Sales: $0

Current Cannabis Jobs: 0

Projected 2025 Sales: $66,000,000

Projected 2025 Jobs: 1,176 (+1,176)

 

Arizona's transition from medical to adult-use is expected to add 558 jobs.

Medical Marijuana Approved: 2010

Recreational Marijuana Approved: 2020

2019 Sales: $181,500,000

Current Cannabis Jobs: 15,059

Projected 2025 Sales: $876,000,000

Projected 2025 Jobs: 15,617 (+558)

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