The Marijuana Business Factbook reports that there are more people working in the legal marijuana industry than as dental hygienists. It is estimated that there are between 165,000 – 235,000 marijuana industry workers nationally, and about 200,000 dental hygienists.
These industry employment figures include all aspects of the marijuana industry, such as lab techs, infusion product employees, retail/dispensary employees and those working in wholesale, according to Newsweek. Ancillary company workers are “a sizeable portion of the revenue from the marijuana industry,” and were therefore included as part of the data.
Standardized industry data is not available due to marijuana’s federal status.
A recent study found that Washington state marijuana industry employees make $16 per hour on average. Marijuana industry businesses prefer to pay better than other industries in order to retain their workforce.
It was estimated in January that there were more than 122,814 full-time marijuana industry jobs at the beginning of 2017. As many more states have implemented marijuana laws or increased access this number has increased.
CNBC estimates that there could be upwards of 250,000 new marijuana industry positions filled by 2020. The states implementing new recreational marijuana laws, like Nevada, will help fuel the spike in job creation.