According to a study by the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development, the marijuana industry is the driving force behind Alaska’s agriculture sector, and the rise will continue over the next ten years.
The study stated that marijuana will be a major factor in the farming, fishery, and forestry sector adding the most jobs proportionally, at a projected 38.2 percent.
Though still rather tiny, this area has seen tremendous growth ever since legalization brought the business to Alaska. Farmworkers and laborers (crop, nursery, and greenhouse) make up the majority of its workforce, accounting for around 40% of marijuana employment but 78% of its anticipated expansion between 2020 and 2030.
2014 saw the legalization of marijuana for recreational use in Alaska. The research states that during 2016, the industry increased by 524 percent.
The authors of the paper predicted that from 2020 to 2030, “the broader agriculture industry will gain 657 new jobs, with 578 of those in greenhouses, a huge 86.4 percent growth rate for greenhouses and 42.9 percent for agriculture overall.“
The establishment of the Governor’s Advisory Task Force on Recreational Marijuana was announced by Gov. Mike Dunleavy (R) last month. He claimed that since 2019, marijuana tax collections have tripled.
According to the research, “the still-small industry added 73 positions from 2019 to 2020.” Although the growth was slower than the previous year, the fact that it occurred in 2020, a year in which large losses were the norm, is noteworthy.
In the coming years, marijuana growing is also anticipated to provide the most jobs.