According to an analysis released April 25, 2019 by State University of New York, Rockefeller Institute of Government, an adult-use cannabis industry in New York could directly employ from 23,700 to 30,700 workers, depending on the size of the market (estimating at least a $1.7 billion market, perhaps as large as $4 billion, when considering factors like federal restrictions requiring cannabis supply chains be located within the state).

However, don’t forget to read the small print!  Pointing out that there are many unknowns in the numbers, senior economist Laura Schultz, the report’s author, said these numbers would be impacted by local jurisdiction decisions to opt-out of the market (which can be town-by-town or county-by-county) or changes in federal marijuana policies (many, if not all, federal contractors must implement drug-free workforce policies and/or carry out regular drug testing).  Nassau and Suffolk counties are expected to ban the cultivation and sale of cannabis within their borders (if Governor Cuomo’s bill is passed by the present legislature).

Using conservative estimates, Schultz estimated the adult-use cannabis industry in New York would create at least 23,747 jobs and $3.2 billion in economic output in the areas of Cultivation (2,145 folks in greenhouse, nursery, and floriculture production), Manufacturing (5,150 folks in medicinal and botanical manufacturing) and Dispensaries (and 16,452 folks in miscellaneous store retailers).  Here’s how the numbers broke down economically:


The cultivation sector is estimated to comprise 9% of the jobs generating only 6% of the economic output (approximately $190M).  Over two-thirds (66%) of the jobs were in the dispensary area, generating 47% of the economic output (approximately $1.5B).  The manufacturing sector also is estimated to generate almost 47% of the economic output (approximately $1.5B) with only about 22% of the workforce.  In economic output per job, that is almost $300,000 per worker!  Dispensary and the cultivation sector workers on average generated $90,000 each of economic output.

The report went on to say cultivation activities would be concentrated mostly upstate, where land is cheaper, according to the Rockefeller Institute report.  Using New York State Health Department marijuana sales projections of $1.7B to $3.5B (based on average retail price of $270 to $340 per ounce), the report estimates that the wider impact of that sales activity could total from $4B to $8.4B. Total employment could be from 31,000 to 63,000 jobs.  Schultz said she was most comfortable with the more conservative estimate of 31,000 jobs and an economic output of $4.1B.  The full report can be found here.

The Rockefeller Institute cautioned saying that economic output is one of many elements of a comprehensive economic impact analysis.   The Rockefeller Institute is working on an analysis of the tax and licensing revenue that would flow from legal cannabis sales and recommended (but did not say they were performing) a study of the impact of fiscal costs associated with adult-use cannabis.

**This post is for informational purposes only, For legal advice, contact a NYC Cannabis Business Lawyer**

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