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article imageStudy: Arizona medical marijuana program will create 1,500 jobs

By Marcus Hondro     Apr 24, 2013 in Health
A new study in Arizona has found the medical marijuana industry in that state will create 1,500 jobs when fully up and running. The study was sponsored by the Regulated Dispensaries of Arizona Association.
It was authored by Timothy Hogan, a professor emeritus at Arizona State Univ., and Hogan says the crux of getting an accurate estimate was getting accurate the number of patients the program will have when fully operational.
"It's a pretty simple industry," he said. "There's not too much nuance. The main driving mechanism is how many patients." He used as a comparison program the established medical marijuana program in Oregon. That state began a program in 1998 and was one of the first U.S. states to create a medical marijuana program. There are currently 18 states and the District of Columbia with medical marijuana programs, including Arizona.
Opposition to medical marijuana in Arizona
Arizona's medical marijuana ballot passed in November of 2010 but the program is not yet fully operational, in large part due to harassment from officials and groups who have been seeking to prevent it. However, the state now has 38,000 medical marijuana cardholders and will have, when up and running, some 126 dispensaries.
There are only a handful of dispensaries now open but the industry finally seems to be moving forward in the state, that despite considerable opposition from Attorney General Tom Horne, Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery and groups such as Keep AZ Drug Free.
Hogan notes that his study found that not only will there be 1500 jobs provided by the program, but there stands to be upwards of 5,000 indirect jobs. "Given the size of the industry," the researcher said. "It seems it will generate substantial income and tax revenue."
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