“My action today is the latest in a series of steps to create American jobs and to grow American wealth,” President Trump said earlier this year while announcing the deregulation of industries in the US. He was speaking to a group of coal miners and promising them new coal jobs. “I made them this promise,” he said. “We will put our miners back to work.”
But if the White House is really interested in creating new jobs, it might consider re-prioritizing its efforts. While the president has signed executive orders to help the coal industry, that industry only employs 76,572 as of the last comprehensive count three years ago. Meanwhile, the same administration has sought to curb and even start criminally prosecuting the state-legalized cannabis industry, even though that industry employs two or three times as many people as coal.
According to figures from a Marijuana Business Daily report, the weed industry employs between 165,000 and 235,000 part-time and full-time workers nationwide, with expected growth in the coming years.
235,000 (even 165,000) is a staggering number. It’s sizably more than the the much-publicised coal industry, and it also dwarfs the current job capacity of the brewery and winery industry (82,342 combined, according to the Washington Post), the car wash industry (150,019), and radio (94,584).
It’s unclear if MBD’s numbers are something you can take to the bank. It’s somewhat unclear how they were arrived at. Not only do they leave a wide margin of error, they also were arrived at using what they call “a variety of methodologies” and includes “ancillary companies that glean a sizable portion of their revenue from the marijuana industry.”
A different report made earlier this year by Leafly put the number of cannabis jobs at 135,000, which still outperforms coal, breweries, and every other industry mentioned above (except for car washes).