It is no secret, by now, that Colorado’s legal marijuana market is swiftly becoming one of the most lucrative industries in the state. Ever since recreational sales launched at the beginning of the year, the so-called green rush has been locked at full throttle, which is not only generating a substantial amount of money for everyone involved, but it is also creating jobs.
In fact, a recent report by the Marijuana Industry Group indicates that since January, the state’s newfound recreational pot trade has created in upwards of 10,000 new jobs, with 2,000 joining the green collar workforce just in the past few months. Although the group admits that it is difficult to determine how many of those jobs were the result of the recreational market, there is enough evidence to suggest that thousands of jobs have spawned with the advent of retail weed.
Now, thousands of people who would have otherwise been standing in the unemployment line have become vital contributors to the economic progress of their community. In fact, Colorado’s unemployment rate recently dropped below the national average to six percent -- the lowest its been since the recession.
It is important to remember that while the marijuana industry only makes up 0.4 percent of Colorado’s 2.6 million jobs, all of the positions are new and did not exist a year ago.
There is even speculation that the latest report may be a little light. That’s because the statistics only account for those jobs directly involved with the marijuana industry (i.e. grow operations, dispensaries etc.), and do not take into consideration all of the positions that have been created by association, including accountants, construction workers, electricians and lawyers.
What’s more exciting is there are no signs of the industry slowing down. As it stands, retail weed sales are generating nearly $19 million a month, which is an increase from the already impressive $14 million per month during the first three months of legal sales.
It does not take a rocket scientist to see that as sales continue to increase, so will the need for more workers -- many of which will earn a better than average paycheck. At Denver’s first ever marijuana job fair earlier this year, some bud trimmers were being offered $15 per hour.
Mike Adams writes for stoners and smut enthusiasts in HIGH TIMES, Playboy’s The Smoking Jacket and Hustler Magazine. You can follow him on Twitter @adamssoup and on Facebook/mikeadams73.