Colorado and Washington State are not the only states that have legalized adult use of cannabis. Oregon, Alaska, and Washington, D.C. ended prohibition during the November 2014 elections.
The benefits of legalizing cannabis are manifold. There are the most frequently noted and obvious benefits like the increased tax revenue for state and local governments, in addition to reduced stress on the criminal justice system. However the biggest advantage of legalizing adult use of cannabis is increased job growth.
CannaInsider.com has estimated that states that have passed adult use of cannabis will create over 200,000 new jobs in the cannabis field in 2015. CannaInsider.com provides a comprehensive list of some of these job descriptions created by the cannabis industry, allowing people to become familiar with these new opportunities.
One new job that is highly sought after is that of a “bud tender” — the term originally derived from “bar tender” — which describes the sommelier of the cannabis world. It is the job of the bud tender to help a medical marijuana patient or recreational user understand the best strain of cannabis for a specific desired effect. It is not uncommon for bud tenders to have huge tip jars filled by grateful patrons.
Other positions resulted from the cannabis industry hold the titles of: edible artisan, extraction technician, and dispensary manager. While a stigma remains associated with cannabis use in many parts of the country, it is fading fast – especially among young adults in the “Millennial” generation who are struggling to pay off student loans and may still be living with their parents.
Melissa Hopkins of Broomfield Colorado was recently hired in a cannabis-testing lab in Denver. “I graduated with a sociology degree last year, and it has been a struggle to find full-time work. I am excited by the job opportunities in the cannabis space, I feel like this industry is here to stay and I can work my way up the ladder.”
According to Matt Karnes, Founder and Managing Partner of GreenWave Advisors, LLC, an independent financial research and advisory firm for the marijuana industry, “By 2020, assuming the most likely progression of state by state legalization, we expect the combined (medical and adult use) retail marijuana market to reach $21 Billion. Jobs are just the beginning, a cultural shift towards the cannabis plant is taking place.”