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Economic Impact of The Cannabis Industry

The legal cannabis industry is a major driver of economic growth in the United States and across the world. When properly regulated, the cannabis industry pumps billions of dollars into the economy every year—generating significant tax revenue, creating new businesses, and supporting hundreds of thousands of jobs.


The legal cannabis industry generates hundreds of thousands of new jobs, including both plant-touching and ancillary cannabis opportunities. Examples of direct, plant-touching cannabis jobs include budtenders, trimmers, cultivators, master extractors, dispensary managers, and laboratory technicians. Examples of businesses that are not plant-touching but integral to the cannabis industry include accounting, technology services, law, marketing, real estate, consulting, and security.

United States


Not only are jobs in the cannabis industry numerous and diverse, recent studies suggest that many of these jobs also pay well. According to a report from Glassdoor, a job recruiting and company review website, the median salary for cannabis industry job openings is 10.7% higher than the average U.S. median salary. Another study from Marijuana Business Magazine’s salary survey found similar results- cannabis jobs across all sectors and skill levels paid at least as much or more than similar positions in different industries.

Source: Glassdoor Economic Research       

Tax Revenue

States and countries with legal cannabis marketplaces have generated billions of dollars in tax revenue from the new industry. Considerable tax revenue awaits those jurisdictions that adopt adult-use cannabis laws and implement sensible tax policies. Learn more about cannabis taxation policy here 

Cannabis tax revenue helps fund critical social services and programs, including education, healthcare, alcohol and drug treatment, infrastructure, social equity programs, community reinvestment, expungement initiatives, and more.

The implementation and start-up costs associated with regulating and licensing cannabis businesses should not deter local and state governments. A combination of time, sufficient retail density, and reasonable tax policies will result in significant tax revenue. Further, policymakers can expect annual revenue to increase over time as consumption shifts to the legal market and more cannabis businesses open up— as evidenced by Oregon and Colorado.

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