Cannabis Could Take Over the Manufacturing Industry in 3 Years

By Manny C.

Cannabis has taken the nation by storm, recent polls are showing that over 60% of people nationwide support legalization on the federal level and eight more states joined the recreational markets in the 2016 elections. And it just keeps growing. Forbes reported that 2016 saw sales jump to over $6 billion coast to coast, a jump from just over $5 billion in sales in 2015 and predictions for 2017 sales are even higher. Despite the diminishing hopes of the White House to protect cannabis patients under the RoFarr (Rohrabacher-Farr) amendment and various campaign promises where Trump hinted that the cannabis market would be left intact in the states that have legalized either medical or recreational laws (or both), the industry continues to boom. And while the sale of cannabis products have steadily increased year over year since 2012, the emerging and sisters markets that are impacted by cannabis legalization have seen their own explosions as well.


Overall, according to Business Insider the cannabis industry is now host to over 150,000 new jobs across the country as  of numbers released in January this year, and related industries such as tourism, cultivation, scientists, technology employees, artists, and glassblowing have grown in states where recreational weed has been legalized. But the industry that has seen the most growth is manufacturing, and this is the industry to really watch as the next few years of strong activism and social change lead to the rise of even more legal green states. 

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People are leaving the dangerous illicit markets for the safety, convenience, product diversity and consistent quality that legal dispensaries offer, and the industry's job growth could explode as a result. Giadha Aguirre De Carcer, founder and CEO of New Frontier Data, described the forecast as "an optimal view of the market that demonstrates what potential job creation could be if legal cannabis is operating freely and openly[.]" in a statement to Business Insider.


Current predictions have also grown since the Wall Street Journal first released it prediction that the cannabis industry would top $20 billion in revenue by 2020, New Frontier Data is predicting that the industry will be worth over $24 billion by the end of 2017 and Forbes is predicting a 700% growth from 2016 to 2017. Impressive numbers for a new market less than ten years old! But what does this mean directly for manufacturing?


In most legalized states “manufacturer” is now defined as the production, preparation, propagation, or compounding of cannabis products, including extraction processes, infusion processes, the packaging or repackaging of manufactured cannabis or cannabis products, and labeling or relabeling the packages of manufactured medical cannabis or medical cannabis products. Basically, anything that touches cannabis from after it’s cultivated until it reaches a wonderful, lucky, happy consumer, involves the manufacturing process some way. Whether it’s creating the rolls of label paper, producing containers, extracting, cooking, baking, creating display shelves, and even air filters or curing aides.


As the number of dispensaries in legalized states grow, along with the numbers of states choosing to legalize cannabis, it is not only the cannabis industry that stands to gain massive grounds. Could cannabis be the what brings the comeback of the manufacturing sector since the bankruptcy of the automotive industry? We are very bullish on this trend and we can't wait for the bright future to come.


We can already experience this first hand on Slyng's Job board.  Our job board is receiving an increasing amount of jobs to fill all kinds of positions to support the industry.  Cannabis legalization is real, and its positive economic effects can be felt in all the States allowing legal access.


*Hero Image Credits: Herold Tribune 
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About the author: Manny C.

Cannabis Activist, industry blogger, and founding member of Illinois Citizens Responsible Regulation.