By Amiea Eleban
The marijuana industry has proven to be great for the United States, in terms of job creation and tax revenue, it being the fastest growing industry.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics recently compiled a list of the industries with the fastest-growing employment figures. Opportunities for home health care aides are expected to grow by 47%, openings for wind turbine technicians are expected to increase by 96%, the need for solar voltaic installers is expected to grow by 105%. Those gains are projected to happen over the course of 10 years.
There will be 110% growth in cannabis jobs in a little over three years.
The industry added more than 64,000 jobs last year – a 44% increase – and is expected to create another 20,000 jobs this year in California and Florida alone. Florida added the most jobs of any state more than 9,000, equaling 703% increase, according to Leafly.
Professional and technical workers, such as accountants, lab workers, marketers, and tax experts, make up more than half of the new workforce. That’s led to a median annual salary of $58,511, almost 11% higher than the overall U.S. median.
In Oklahoma, there were zero cannabis jobs two years ago. Now there are 2,107. A year from now, there are expected to be 4,407 jobs.
There is a downside to the marijuana industry though, cannabis use has become an obstacle to getting hired. THC, the active ingredient in cannabis, can linger in the body and show up in the screening process for up to 30 days after the immediate impairment of the user. Traditional THC screening cannot differentiate between actual impairment and presence due to past use of cannabis.
Backers of legalization say that is unfair and the world of work needs to adapt to changing societal norms regarding cannabis.
“There are some states, like California, where employers are completely allowed to sanction based on a drug test, even medical marijuana patients,” said Tamar Todd, vice-chair of the California Cannabis Advisory Committee and lecturer on marijuana law and policy at Berkeley Law. “An employer can basically refuse to hire you or discipline you for a positive THC in your blood even if you’re a lawful medical marijuana patient using lawfully under state law. And the legislature has not changed that law yet.”
There needs to be some type of law like in Germany and Portugal to protect those that use medically and recreationally. Take notes America, your gonna need it. With the way things are now, you either need to find a job that doesn’t do drug testing or not use marijuana at all. Given our approval of medicinal use, that’s a bit hypocritical.
Jobs that require driving or that could hurt others if the person using MMJ did personal harm make sense, but otherwise, we should decide what side of the fence we want to be on once and for all. Maybe with time that will change? What do you think?