BAM Key Details:

  • A Gallup poll shows that 16% of Americans report smoking marijuana, with 48% stating they’ve tried it at some point in their lives. In addition, Quest Diagnostics found a record share of workers testing positive during screenings. 
  • Workers in the real estate rental and leasing sector rank 4th for marijuana positivity rates by industry. 
  • In an informal poll conducted by BAM, 15% of real estate agents stated they smoke weed on a daily basis. 

    With the legalization of marijuana spreading across the U.S., it seems that more Americans are taking a hit—or at the very least, unabashedly confessing to their cannabis use

    According to a Gallup poll, a growing number of Americans admit to smoking marijuana. When it comes to getting high on the job, Quest Diagnostics found a record share of workers testing positive for cannabis during drug screenings. 

    And guess who’s near the top of that list? You guessed it—professionals in the real estate industry. 

    Marijuana Users on the Rise in the U.S.

    In 2022, 16% of Americans reported smoking marijuana, with 48% of adults saying they’ve at least tried it, according to Gallup. These numbers demonstrate a significant increase compared to 2013 when only 7% of Americans reported using marijuana.

    Americans who smoke marijuana

    Source: Gallup

    According to Gallup’s data, the number of marijuana smokers now surpasses the number of cigarette smokers in the country, with just 11% of poll respondents stating they smoke cigarettes. 

    For most, this doesn’t come as much of a surprise, considering the growing number of states legalizing medicinal and/or recreational use of weed, accompanied by an increasing number of companies eliminating employee drug testing. Even the National Basketball Association is on board with weed, which officially removed marijuana from its list of banned substances as of July 1, 2023. It’s a shift that is reshaping societal norms and perceptions about marijuana use. 

    But a recent Wall Street Journal article pointed out that this shift leaves employers with a challenge: a growing number of employees getting high at work. 

    Getting High on the Job

    While Gallup’s poll reveals an uptick in self-reported marijuana consumption, data from Quest Diagnostics showcases what’s happening in the workplace. 

    Out of six million general workforce tests conducted last year, 4.3% returned positive results—the highest positivity rate in almost three decades. In addition, positivity rates for drug tests administered to workers following on-the-job accidents have tripled over the past decade.

    Of course, when it comes to smoking on the job, some industries rank higher than others. The industries with the leading positivity rates for marijuana in 2022 were:

    1. Accommodation and food services (8.1%)
    2. Retail trade (8.1%)
    3. Transportation and warehousing (6.4%)
    4. Real estate rental and leasing (5.4%)
    5. Wholesale trade (5.4%)
    Positivity rates for marijuana use by industry

    With the real estate rental and leasing sector consistently ranking among the top industries with positive drug test results, it led us to question how many real estate agents are regularly lighting up. 

    Real Estate Agents Smoking Weed

    In an informal poll posted by The Broke Agent last week, he asked agents to respond to the question: How often do you smoke weed?

    Based on 211 responses, the results were as follows:

    • Daily – 15%
    • Couple times per month – 7%
    • Once or twice a year – 11%
    • Never – 67%
    how often real estate agents smoke week

    The real estate industry, as a whole, has a reputation for turning to substances (legal or otherwise), to de-stress. Of course, it is important to note that while the perception exists, it doesn’t apply to all individuals in the industry. As mentioned earlier, the majority of agents responded that they never smoke in BAM’s informal poll. 

    The nature of the real estate industry, filled with tight deadlines, significant financial stakes, and demanding clients, can contribute to stress and the desire to unwind. And cannabis is often used to calm anxiety, ease pain, and aid in sleep.

    On the other hand, smoking can impair judgment and create safety hazards. At Toray Industries America, for example, a worker recently drove a forklift into an overhead door. They were fired after testing positive for marijuana, despite being in a state where it is legal. 

    As a professional, the consumption of any substance should never impact your clients. It’s up to you to consider the potential effects (positive or negative) on your work performance and make decisions from there.