Marijuana is proving to be an economy booster to the state
According to a recent report by Oregon’s Office of Economic Analysis (OEA), marijuana is contributing significantly to the state’s economy. The marijuana industry along with alcohol is now providing more jobs than is the technology sector.
Oregon first legalized marijuana in 2014 with measure 91. Since then, marijuana-related employment opportunities have grown and there are currently around 11,000 marijuana-related jobs in the state. By contrast, the tech industry only has just over 7,600 jobs. Right in the middle is the alcohol industry, with approximately 8,700.
The budding industry isn’t paying nearly as well, however. The tech sector offers wages that are substantially higher than those paid to marijuana employees. It is still good news and will definitely lead to local and state government officials discussing the topic at length to determine how best to integrate marijuana deeper into the economy.
According to Josh Lehner of the OEA, who published the findings, “Over the past decade, or since the start of the Great Recession, Oregon’s thriving alcohol, and marijuana sectors have added more jobs than one of the state’s economic pillars: the high-tech cluster. Of course these economic sectors are not directly related, but instead are being used to help frame the discussion for just how fast, and how many jobs are being added here in the state.”
Lehner added, “Prices continue to plunge as the market matures and marijuana commoditizes. But increasing market activity in extracting oils, creating creams, making edibles in addition to hopefully building up the broader cluster of lab testing equipment, and branding and design firms, means Oregon will see a bigger economic impact from legalization.”