Marijuana is now legal for recreational use in both Colorado and Washington, and retail sales have officially kicked off in both states. Colorado got off to a head start, and has brought in millions of dollars in tax revenue for the state, prompting many others around the country to start the legalization conversation among their own legislators. Washington’s market has officially been open to the public for a short amount of time, and so far, revenues have been stymied by a lack of adequate supply. Over the course of the next several months, things are expected to even out, and Washington residents hope to see similar results to what Colorado is experiencing.
Tax revenue has been the major selling point to local governments throughout the legalization effort, and that makes sense. But there are also numerous other economical benefits to ending prohibition, including an influx of new jobs to the market. Keeping cannabis relegated to the black market meant that the profits from its sale, as well as those working to earn those profits, stayed off the books. By bringing marijuana into the legal realm, an accurate picture of how much money there is and how many people there are working within the industry is being developed for the first time.
Opening up an entire new sector and industry within the economy is going to have enormous benefit, especially one that had been operating in the shadows all along. It’s not just the actual growing and sale of marijuana that brings in revenue and jobs; legal cannabis is an entire industry, requiring support staff and regulators as well. All of this means a big influx of employment opportunities for those in areas where legalization is in full swing. Not to mention, law enforcement and legal professionals no longer need to spend precious public resources fighting low-level drug crimes related to cannabis, saving enormous amounts of money and time.
What are some of these jobs, what do they pay, and how can you get one? Well, there are a multitude of opportunities in just about every function you can imagine. Many of these jobs had previously been segregated to the black market, or the medical industry only, available to a select few who qualified. Now, they are becoming mainstream and available to many more. Some are lucrative, others pay low-wages. But the industry is in its infancy, and as it evolves, as will the positions within it.
Here are 16 jobs now being created by the new marijuana industry, providing new opportunities and giving local economies a shot in the arm.