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1. Cannabis promotes tourism
The Jersey Shore, Ellis Island, Manhattan, and the Catskill Mountains are only a few of the many tourist hotspots in New Jersey and New York. Legal cannabis has the chance to not only keep these resorts running but bring in significantly more profits and tourists overall. Since gaining momentum in the past decade, cannabis businesses have developed unique attractions for tourists, including but not limited to bus tours, cannabis-friendly hotel accommodations, paint nights, and more.
As New Jersey legalizes recreational use of marijuana and Pennsylvania looks in that direction, businesses such as Zen Leaf cannabis stores expect to expand with hundreds of well-paying jobs.
“Adult use opens the cannabis market to new consumers, a new base,” said Brian Ward, chief financial officer for Verano Holdings, the Chicago-based parent company of Zen Leaf. “We’re continually hiring at this point. … In terms of the region and the economic impact, I can tell you that it’s absolutely massive.”
“The type of talent that we were trying to attract in 2017 wasn’t interested (in the marijuana sector). Now, they’re banging down our door,” said Joey Muehlstein, director of talent acquisition at Green Thumb Industries, a Chicago-based multistate operator that in 2020 hired about 1,300 people, roughly doubling its workforce.
Green Thumb received more than 700 applications for a recent job listing for a regional retail director. “We get to be very selective in who we speak to and who we’d like to interview,” Muehlstein added. “The bar is raised.”
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Wednesday signed a bill to legalize recreational marijuana for all adults over the age of 21.
Why it matters: New York is the 15th state to legalize recreational marijuana and is expected to quickly become one of the largest markets for legal cannabis in the country.
Last month, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed three bills making it official: marijuana will soon be growing legally in the gardens of the Garden State for anyone over 21 to enjoy. The bills follow through on a marijuana legalization ballot initiative that New Jerseyans approved overwhelmingly last year. New Jersey is now one of a dozen states, plus the District of Columbia, which have let loose the magic dragon — and more states, like Virginia, may be on the way.
The medical marijuana market in Florida created nearly 15,000 new jobs in 2020 and employs an estimated 31,444 state residents, according to a new analysis.
Florida recorded nearly $1.23 billion in marijuana sales in 2020, according to the report posted by Leafly and Whitney Economics. Florida’s sales were more than every state except California and Colorado, where marijuana is legal for adults.
If you’re looking for work amid the pandemic and live in a legal state, the cannabis industry is hiring. New data published in the 2020 edition of the annual Marijuana Business Factbook reports the U.S. cannabis industry is expected to add almost 250,000 full-time jobs between 2020 and 2024.
Thirty-three states plus Washington, D.C., now allow medical marijuana. At least 2 million Americans are registered medical marijuana users, according to data from 26 states, meaning the nationwide number is likely higher. Millions more use hemp-derived CBD, which is now legal in some forms and omnipresent, and does not have the “high” of marijuana.
Weed workers across the country are unionizing, and California just made it easier for them.
On Friday, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed into law a requirement that all cannabis stores enter into so-called “labor peace agreements” as soon as they have 20 or more employees.
California is now one of two states — New York is the other — that requires licensed weed shops to make a deal with a formal labor union in which managers promise not to stop workers from joining a union. And in exchange, organizers won’t encourage labor strikes against the company.
There are photos of marijuana leaves all over the campus of Stockton University and it’s the leaders of the school that have put them there. In addition to the creation of a cannabis studies minor program last fall, the school is now hosting its first Cannabis Fair and Business Expo.