Naperville Business Lawyer Discusses the Impact of Legal Marijuana on Job Growth

jobs, Naperville business lawyerSince our country was founded, our elected officials have been tasked with creating and enforcing laws as well as promoting the financial health of the nation. Over the last 40 years or so, countless legislative measures and public awareness campaigns have been focused on reducing and eliminating the problems created by illegal drug use and abuse. At the same time—and especially more recently—lawmakers have struggled to find ways to boost the American economy and to create jobs for those who need gainful employment.

Throughout much of my career as a business law attorney, my practice’s brushes with drug issues have been primarily centered around workplace drug policies and pre-employment screenings. On occasion, I would be approached by a client regarding the hiring of an employee who had been convicted of a drug crime. Going forward, however, it seems that the use of a particular drug may be more closely linked to business interests than ever before, as new data suggests that the legalized marijuana industry will soon be creating more jobs than manufacturing.

Incremental Legalization

Currently, marijuana is legal in one form or another in 28 states, including those like Illinois in which the drug is only legally available for approved medical purposes. In each of those states, a new business sector has been developed to produce, transport, and distribute the drug, along with other ancillary services. The state of Colorado, which was the first state to legalize recreational use of marijuana, has seen its cannabis industry already create an estimated 20,000 jobs.

Looking Ahead

Last week, New Frontier Data released a series of projections that included estimates from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. According to New Frontier, the legal marijuana industry will create as many as 300,000 by 2020, outpacing job creating in several other industries including manufacturing. The predictions are based on the states that have currently enacted measures legalizing the drug. If more states follow suit in the next three years, the number of jobs created could be even greater.

Industry officials are hopeful that the economic opportunities being generated by the legalized use of marijuana will prompt the Trump administration to reconsider its hinted crackdown on the drug. Marijuana is still technically not legal under federal law, and officials in the new president’s administration have suggested that it would not be continuing the permissive policies of the previous Obama administration regarding recreational marijuana.

Creating Job Opportunities

Small and mid-sized businesses have been credited with nearly two-thirds of the job growth in over the last two decades, adding more than 14 million jobs to the American labor force. As industries grow, so does the importance of smaller companies. Regardless of your chosen industry, hiring new employees is an important decision, and an experienced Naperville business law attorney can help you develop a sound hiring strategy. Call 630-756-1160 to speak with a member of our team about your company’s future today.





Bureau of Labor Statistics

Los Angeles Times

Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council