In November of 2014, residents in Oregon approved Measure 91, legalizing the use and sale of recreational marijuana adding jobs.
Already, it appears that 2,156 new jobs have been created in the state’s marijuana industry. The Oregon Cannabis Jobs Report was recently released and has analyzed the impact of the newly legal market. According to the report’s website, the goal of the report is “To establish a foundation for future research on how many jobs are being created within the cannabis industry to date.”
Statesman Journal, a USA Today affiliate, has broken down some of the key findings in the report:
- About $46 million in payroll to retail cannabis workers is expected in 2016, with a potential economic effect of $196 million by 2017 year-end.
- Up to 27 percent growth is anticipated in retail cannabis jobs by the end of 2017, based on high-growth projections.
- The cash-only nature of business makes it difficult to provide benefits to employees.
In a short period of time, legal marijuana has already surpassed the number of employees in Oregon’s alcohol industry. Estimates from the Oregon’s Employment Department indicate that 1,450 people were employed in the beer, wine, and liquor industry. Employees working for alcohol-related companies were paid $28 million in 2015.
The report also suggested that the market for legal marijuana was “much stronger” than initially thought. Additionally, higher employment typically results in more money being circulated through the economy. The report expected workers to spend their wages and create a “ripple effect” on the state’s economy.
Legal marijuana seems to be consistently outperforming the economic predictions of analysts. Colorado’s marijuana industry has produced more tax revenues than expected. The news in Oregon could signal a bright future for the entire country. The fastest growing industry in the United States is outpacing projections and bringing in significantly more tax revenues at a time when it is certainly needed.