The benefits of legalizing cannabis have long been a topic of discussion. While the advantages of legalized marijuana have been utilized by a growing number of state governments, there have been some local governments and municipalities that have yet to grasp on to the belief that legalized cannabis would be a benefit to their community.
In a recent research study published by Colorado State University – Pueblo’s Institute of Cannabis, researchers found that the regulated cannabis industry contributed over $58 million to the local economy of Pueblo, CO in tax revenue.
Prior to the boom of the cannabis industry in 2014, Pueblo’s largest employers were prisons and hospitals. The city also had one of the state of Colorado’s highest unemployment rates. With the introduction of this new, potentially massive industry, that is no longer the case.
However, this success didn’t come for free. The city of Pueblo invested $23 million, providing the foundation for the cannabis industry to grow. In the end the city reaped a nearly $35 million profit. Not only that, the industry is projected to grow to $100 million annually within the next 3 years.
Initially, some feared that legalizing cannabis would lower property values. A new study indicates that couldn’t be further from the truth. Certain Colorado municipalities saw up to a 6% property value increase following legislation.
Jobs in the Cannabis Industry
According to New Frontier data, the Cannabis industry could generate $106 billion in tax revenue and create 1 million jobs by 2025 across the country. This could stimulate the economies of many towns and cities that have seen better days.
“Under the new business tax rate of 21 percent, the Trump tax cuts will come as welcome relief to cannabis business owners who already face tax hurdles because of 280E,” said New Frontier Data CEO Giadha Aguirre De Carcer. “Lower tax rates may provide cannabis business owners greater capacity to grow and create more jobs.”
Legal Cannabis provides a brand-new, sizable job market with a variety of different types of career paths. According to HempStaff, here are just a few examples of the jobs created by the cannabis industry:
- Master grower: Workers that oversee the construction, design and cultivation of the grow operation. They follow the grow schedule and keep daily records about chemicals and lighting.
- Cultivation supervisor: Oversees the growing, trimming and cultivation of cannabis plant at a growing facility.
- Trimmer/cultivation site worker: These employees manicure and trim to cannabis plants for production.
- Extractor: Utilizes cannabis plants to make hash, extracts and other products. This job requires learning and understanding the technical processes of cannabis, and taking safety precautions.
- Budtender dispensary agent: These cannabis employees know all about the different types of strains, as well as their abilities to alleviate the symptoms of various illnesses.
- Cannabis chef: An expert in cooking with cannabis, and infusing it with different types of foods.
- Dispensary manager: This type of cannabis worker interacts and maintains positive relationships with law enforcement, vendors and landlords. They also supervise dispensary staff. They contact grow sites, train employees, understand marketing, educate patients and keep up with state cannabis laws.
- Lab workers: Tests different cannabis products to ensure they don’t contain pesticides or heavy metals. They also ensure the correct ratios of cannabinoids, such as CBD and THC.
- Marketing/sales associates: These employees create the branding behind any certain product or dispensary, creating logos and selling the products.
- Security: Security guards keep employees and patients safe, whether that is at a dispensary or at a cultivation site. These employees usually accompany the dispensary managers while they make any financial transactions.
- Delivery driver: These employees are typically utilized delivering products to patients who might need them, or transporting the product to/from cultivation sites.
Considering the potential for this budding industry, and all it has contributed thus far, it makes sense for local municipalities to welcome cannabis with open arms. The cannabis industry has the potential to breathe life into once downtrodden towns.