Leafly released its fourth annual Cannabis Jobs Report last month, and despite the troubling news of hundreds of recent industry layoffs, cannabis remains a fast-track growth industry. The numbers and industry expansion are impressive, but are still just a fraction of what’s possible when cannabis is eventually made legal. For now, the combined regulated medical and adult use cannabis industries in the U.S. employ 243,700 people, who, in some capacity, are all working toward the goal of selling cannabis.
Leafly explains that they undertake the time, expense, and effort to produce this report, along with numerous partners, because, frankly, no one else is doing so. But what about, say, the Bureau of Labor Statistics? Isn’t one of their responsibilities to report on, um, the statistics of labor? Well, funny thing about that.
As Leafly’s report notes, the mere act of calculating the size and scope of the cannabis industry isn’t a given:
“When we started our annual jobs count four years ago, cannabis jobs weren’t recognized by any official labor statistics agency. They didn’t even have an North American Idustry Classification System code, which is a number within the international classification system used by labor economists,” it shared.
“The NAICS has since recognized the existence of cannabis jobs, but lumps them with ‘Miscellaneous Store Retailers’ (code 453998, which includes art supply stores, auction houses, candle shops, florists, and hot tub stores) and “Miscellaneous Crop Farming” (111998, which includes hay and grass seed, hops, mint, and agave). So that’s not really much progress.
“We developed our employment estimation methods based on past foundational work on the cannabis industry by MPG Consulting, Whitney Economics, BDS Analytics, New Frontier Data, Vangst, Headset,