It’s no secret: cannabis is the talk of the nation, and in New Jersey “marijuana” is all the rage: from the taxes it will be bring into the state, to how many mergers will happen before a single plant is grown, everyone wants to be involved in this new, exciting opportunity.
One topic that has not been given enough attention by politicians is the potential creation of thousands of jobs through the expansion of medical cannabis, and—fingers crossed—adult-use (also known as recreational) cannabis.
It’s clear that cannabis at any level would bring an incredible economic opportunity for the working class of New Jersey. In April 2019 Forbes magazine estimated that there were 211,000 full-time employees within the U.S. cannabis industry. If you include other auxiliary industries connected to the cannabis industry, such as accountants, marketing firms, lawyers, and other workers who are employed by the industry, that number soars to 296,000 people. Furthermore, in 2018 the cannabis industry added approximately 65,000 new jobs, or had a 44% increase in just one year alone.
New Jersey has the perfect opportunity to legalize cannabis on all levels and create thousands of much-needed jobs within the Garden State. With both Stockton University and Rutgers University already taking the lead in training in the Cannabis Trade, why shouldn’t these educated workers be able to graduate and walk right into a union career? This could help attract professionals from around the country and stop the infamous “leak” of people leaving the state. Forbes estimates that by 2024 cannabis jobs—in positions such as Budtender and Head Grower—will outpace job creation in manufacturing, utilities, and even public sector jobs, meaning college graduates can obtain a union career in cannabis and pay back those notorious student loans.