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U.S. Cannabis Industry Employs Over 440,000 Workers

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The legalized cannabis industry added over 23,000 new jobs in 2023 and now employs over 440,000 full-time workers across the U.S., according to data compiled by Vangst and Whitney Economics.

Job growth increased more than five percent between 2022 and 2023, while retail cannabis sales grew over ten percent to $28.8 billion, authors reported. Year-over-year growth was especially strong in Michigan and more nascent adult-use markets such as Missouri, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Rhode Island.

By contrast, ten states experienced negative growth during the past year. The report’s authors suggested that market saturation and waning demands for cannabis tourism likely played a role in those markets’ contraction.

“Now more than ever, America’s cannabis industry is a state-by-state, region-by-region job market,” the study’s authors concluded. “Young markets in recently legalized states continue to expand and create employment opportunities, while labor demand in mature markets contracts along with revenue and profit margins.”

Between 2017 and 2022, the state-legal cannabis industry experienced year-over-year double-digit growth. Since then, industry growth has plateaued.

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