Marijuana is legal for recreational use in four states now, with many more inching closer. A couple of years have passed since Colorado officially opened its market up to the public; there have been millions of dollars in profits made, and tens of thousands of jobs created. Washington’s market opened in July 2014, but was slower to develop — and Oregon is following in their footsteps. Despite opposition from some groups, the economic gains have been clear.
Tax revenue has been the major selling point to local governments throughout the legalization effort. 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 industry within the economy always brings enormous benefit, especially if that industry — like the marijuana industry – had long been operating in the shadows for so long, with an established consumer base. It’s not just the actual growing and sale of marijuana that brings in revenue and creates 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.
What are some of these jobs, what do they pay, and how can you get one? 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.