Thanks to the growing number of states that allow for the legal use of marijuana for medicinal purposes — which is up to 23, including Washington, D.C. — experts predict that the medical marijuana industry will be a $35 billion industry by 2020. That’s bigger than the NFL — a $10 billion industry.
So for America’s freelancers and entrepreneurs, the future is looking pretty green. Many Americans are pursuing a freelance career in the medical marijuana industry. According to a Workforce article, there’s even a website, Ganjapreneur, that caters to freelancers looking for a gig in the industry.
According to a December 4 MetroMode article, what was once a covert, underground industry is now becoming increasingly legitimized in states where it’s legal. And these states’ fledgling medical marijuana sectors have plenty of job openings needing to be filled.
In Michigan, a state with some 100 to 200 authorized sellers, or dispensaries, of medical marijuana, this is especially true. MetroMode reports that dispensaries are especially pervasive throughout the Detroit metropolitan area, acting as a much-needed source of jobs for the city to get back on its feet after years of financial hardship.
However, becoming a “ganjapreneur” isn’t as much of a breeze as it may seem, especially for Michigan freelancers. In Michigan, the state Supreme Court ruled that dispensaries of medical marijuana aren’t protected under the 2008 Medical Marijuana Act. While some dispensaries are subject to raids, most tend to be tolerated by local authorities, according to Rick Thompson, a board member of the Michigan chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws.
It’s also difficult for entrepreneurs to get the financial backing needed to open up their own dispensaries in the first place. According to MetroMode, most banks and financial institutions are wary of working with marijuana-related businesses, due to the federal government’s continued prohibition of the drug.
Despite these difficulties, as more and more states make medical marijuana legal, there will likely be no shortage of opportunities for freelancers and aspiring “ganjapreneurs” everywhere.