If all 50 states were to regulate marijuana like Colorado, the industry would add over a quarter million jobs to the U.S. economy in the next three years, an upcoming report finds.

According to New Frontier Data's annual cannabis industry report for 2017, the industry could add 283,422 new jobs to the economy by 2020. Giadha Aguirre De Carcer, founder and CEO of New Frontier, says the state-regulated marijuana industry, which expanded to 32 states across the U.S., is a "major economic driver and job creation engine for the U.S. economy."

"While we see a potential drop in total number of U.S. jobs created in 2017, as reported by Kiplinger, as well as an overall expected drop in GDP growth, the cannabis industry continues to be a positive contributing factor to growth at a time of potential decline," says De Carcer in a statement.

In 2015, the industry in Colorado created more than 18,000 new full-time jobs and generated $2.4 billion in economic activity, according to the Marijuana Policy Group, an economic consulting firm.

In 2016, according to a Marijuana Business Daily report, the industry employed approximately 150,000 people nationwide, from lab technicians in testing facilities, extraction scientists to retail jobs at dispensaries. 

New Frontier Data's job projections are based on an "optimal view of the market" if marijuana was legal in all 50 states, the firm explains in a statement.