When it comes to the legal marijuana industry, many people assume it’s a small, struggling group of people. While it’s true that the industry has encountered many obstacles and likely has more to face in the future, you might be surprised to hear that the industry is a lot bigger than you previously believed. For example, if your living in one of the legal marijuana states, it might actually be easier for you to find someone to recommend and sell you cannabis than to find a dental hygienist.
According to Marijuana Business Daily, “Cannabis-related businesses now employ more people than there are dental hygienists and bakers in the United States and will soon surpass the number of telemarketers and pharmacists.”
The Bureau of Labor Statistics revealed that there are 204,000 individuals employed as dental hygienists. As of the beginning of this summer, the marijuana industry has 165,000-235,000 full- and part-time workers. Based on the estimates published in the newly released Marijuana Business Factbook 2017, this employment data includes retailers, wholesale grows, infused products/concentrates companies, testing labs and ancillary firms. Impressive, considering that the marijuana industry has only been operating legitimately for a few years (since 2009).
On July 1st, Nevada joined the list of states that have legalized recreational marijuana. This makes them the fifth state – among Colorado, Oregon, Washington and Alaska – to open dispensaries to recreational users. California, Maine and Massachusetts also past recreational measures in November, but are still finalizing their rules.
This growth in the cannabis industry is accompanied by the expectation that the industry’s employment will boom as well. Over Fourth of July weekend in Nevada, for example, recreational legalization led to as many as 1,000 customers each day. Estimates from business intelligence firm, New Frontier Data, anticipate that the market for legal weed may create as many as 250,000 new jobs by 2020.
At the moment, the majority of the jobs in the marijuana industry are small businesses. The state-by-state nature of the marijuana industry has prevented many of these businesses from developing into large-scale enterprises that employ hundreds of people. For now, theses small businesses only require a handful of employees to maintain their daily operations.
Even so with the growth of the industry, these businesses struggle to find basic business services, like flexible business funding options and payment processing. With the high-risk categorization of the industry, most traditional providers won’t touch marijuana merchants. This is where alternative providers like Marijuana Merchant Account have stepped in to help. As a high-risk specialist, MMA specializes in providing these merchants with business financing and payment processing solutions.
The hope is that, in time, more and more providers will except cannabis merchants, considering that the industry could explode to $50 billion in the next decade.