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article imageOp-Ed: Legal marijuana now biggest jobs grower in the United States

By Paul Wallis     Mar 20, 2019 in Business
New York - Seems the Terrible Weed is generating more jobs than any other sector in the United States. All that herbal immorality and innuendo created 64,389 jobs in 2018. That’s a 44% increase in employment in one year.
Reasons for this sudden exponential growth appear to be based on the industry finding its feet, and filling in the critical spaces. A report called the Cannabis Jobs Count predicted ongoing growth of about 110% from 2017 and in the immediate future.
That’s a bit better level of employment as that other awful sector you’d swear was illegal (for all the negative heat it generates in US politics), solar power. The amazing coincidence is that these two sectors, which are truly hated by the Ancient Regime, are the top performers.
A few tiny little insanities
Cannabis was the poster child for the anti-drugs campaign. It made women promiscuous and men sit around in brochures looking lost and not wearing their ties, and everything. You’d think nobody had ever watched Leave It to Beaver.
The Killer Weed was so well publicized that everyone had to try it. The first regulation of cannabis was in 1906, followed by further restrictions and prohibition in the 1920s. It was only fully banned in 1970, under the Controlled Substances Act.
Nobody, of course, did any actual checking, or thinking about facts or the sheer corruption and madness of what happened when it was made illegal. Prohibition of alcohol failed so dismally that it was abandoned a few years after it began. Cannabis was exactly the same, but over a far longer time frame. This dazzling bit of idiocy, like all other types of prohibition, has been making criminals rich to this day and has never prevented anyone on Earth from scoring.
A few points:
The states even the ultra-conservative states, are largely ignoring the Federal laws and doing things their way. Cannabis is being legalized and decriminalized on an ongoing basis in many states. There’s no going back.
The states are making money, and economic activity is picking up, now that people have jobs and money to spend. Humanity and reality seem to be finding their way through the maze, even if social thinking and laws are tripping over everything in sight. It’s only the dino sector of society which is still saying no.
Legal cannabis sales are generating billions of dollars, despite some weird regulatory quirks like California’s “cultivation tax” of $9 or so per ounce. (Nobody thought to make it a single stream tax, just add 0.5% or whatever to excise?)
Penalizing legal shops with “licensing issues” isn’t helping much either. (What issues? These are the terms of the license, this is what you do if you want to keep it, end of story.) That sort of thing is to be expected in any new market, but it’d help to iron out the discrepancies. That’s the main reason the illegal market is still in business, another irony, in that misapplied regulations have left a loophole.
The public disinformation campaign about cannabis has been a predictable own goal. The War on Drugs failed first with cannabis, and failed completely. The big money crime was promoted and funded by prohibition. All those teens caught with some grass, and the resulting family meltdowns, were for nothing. Now, the exact opposite is happening. Lessons learned? Maybe.
Looking at going in to the cannabis business?
The future is still being figured out in this sector, and it can go any number of different ways, even in a fully legal environment. A major issue for legal cannabis businesses is going to be how this market evolves. Forget the hype. This isn’t quite a new Gold Rush. Clunky regulations, in particular, are more obstructive than useful. Some businesses are doing very well, some are trundling along like a shopping trolley on a dirt road. The black market is still there, and will be until legal cannabis is properly run.
This isn’t Bitcoin, though, thank god, or some sleazy new debt equity scam from the fecal minds of some office in New York. It’s real business with real products. If you’re looking at entering the market, treat it with the same “due diligence” you’d use for any business venture. Check everything, and believe what delivers, not what says it delivers.
There will be scams, “investor opportunities” to put money in to other people’s pockets, etc. Take care, look at the hard numbers, and stay cool.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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