The Numbers Speak for Themselves
Leafly has crunched some numbers on the legal marijuana industry in America and gave us a Cannabis Jobs Count. It was seen that cannabis provided 211 000 full-time jobs in the states, with a whopping 64 000 of those coming in 2018 alone! The cannabis workforce grew by 21% in 2017, and another 44% in 2018. The expectation is that it’ll grow another 20% by the end of 2019 in America – showing a 110% increase in as little as 3 years.
To put this in perspective, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a faculty in the states, listed industries with the fastest job growth potential. An example we can use are American home health care positions, which are expected to increase by 47% – but this is over a 10 year period. The cannabis industry did it in just 3.
Cannabis Jobs in South Africa
This trend will likely continue for the foreseeable future – and South Africa is years behind the US market, so just imagine the potential for our country? Our unemployment rate is one of the highest in the world, and we are in desperate need for an industry that could change this. This is a whole new industry with just about every position open for the taking. From lower level positions, to expert and skill dependent positions – we have them all and they’re up for grabs.
With this though, we do have to be patient. We’re still not quite sure the direction our government will be taking come September 2020 as the laws will be reviewed by the Constitutional Court. There is a belief that our government will be mainly focusing on the export of cannabis flower – which doesn’t do much for the local community.
Some jobs will be created and money invested locally, but it doesn’t present a lot of opportunity for smaller brands wanting to provide cannabis and related products to a local market. The local industry will experience very little growth and development, taking a jab at all the hard work the community has been putting in while awaiting some sort of legalisation for cannabis on local soil.
Of course, another factor will be fewer jobs in the cannabis industry. The local industry could be massive on our own turf, with positions probably filling up rather rapidly. However, if the focus is on export, we could potentially be limiting cannabis jobs in the industry to just half. Seems a bit ridiculous doesn’t it?
Over the coming year, we as the local cannabis community need to prove to the government that it would be well worth their while to invest heavily in the local industry. Not just for the jobs in the cannabis industry, but because the country and the community need this economic driver. It will be very interesting to see and hear if the Minister of Finance, Mr Tito Mboweni mentions the cannabis industry at all in his upcoming budget speech in 2020.