The steady growth of legalized marijuana is creating jobs fast -- and they could outnumber traditional jobs including dental hygienists, bakers and massage therapists, according to an industry survey.
The survey, conducted by Marijuana Business Daily and just published in the Marijuana Industry Factbook, estimates part-time and full-time jobs in the U.S. legal marijuana sector are between 165,000 and 230,000. By comparison, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics counts 297,000 full and part-time pharmacists, 230,000 telemarketers, 201,0000 dental hygienists, 185,000 bakers and 165,000 massage therapists.
Twenty-nine states and the District of Columbia now allow limited use of marijuana or its derivatives for medical use. Eight of those states have legalized recreational use as well. Twenty percent of the U.S. population now resides in states where recreational use of pot is legal.
While the drug remains illegal under federal law, the U.S. Justice Department is so far continuing an informal hands-off policy to not override state marijuana laws that became established under President Obama.
Confusion over marijuana legality is growing for employers, especially those with multiple-state presence or who employ workers who reside in legal marijuana states.
Employment lawyer and medical marijuana legal expert Melissa Fleischer is providing an update for employers on July 27 which looks closely at issues including safety, drug testing and drug-free workplace policies.
A key problem for employers is the common-sense notion of a drug-free workplace. While a no-tolerance policy may seem cut-and-dried, dangers abound when it comes to drug testing, particularly for pre-employment screening.
Fieischer's presentation covers key topics for employers and includes two bonus materials: The Marijuana in the Workplace Guide and a sample workplace Drug Policy.