With over $100 million in monthly marijuana sales, Colorado is showing the world just how profitable marijuana can be. But, it’s not just dispensary owners and marijuana businesses that are seeing economic gains.
If you’ve visited Portland, Oregon recently you may have noticed a unique change. Giant billboards featuring six-foot long images of marijuana buds have popped up all over the city. Seemingly everywhere you look there’s an advertisement pointing you in the direction of a legal weed store.
Prior to the cannabis boom, Portland had made a name for itself for its micro-breweries, fine food, and eco-tourism. In 2014, tourism brought $4.6 billion worth of spending into the state. With legal cannabis so novel and accessible, it’s undeniable that these numbers will only increase. Recreational cannabis has only been legal since October of 2016, but Oregon saw a record of $11 million in sales during its first month alone.
Denver, Colorado has already seen a spike in hotel bookings surrounding 4/20 and cannabis festivals. NBC News reported that the number of rooms rented between 2013 and 2014 increased by 73%.
For the most part, cannabis is still a cash only business. Wouldn’t it be nice to avoid hitting up the ATM before walking into a medical or a recreational marijuana store?
According to Williams, only 3% of banks are working with marijuana industries. This creates several major challenges for cannabis business owners. Why are banks so scared of working with weed money? Though nearly half of U.S. states have some sort of marijuana program, the plant is still considered a drug by the federal government. Banks simply don’t want to get involved due to pages of fine print regarding drug money and fear of Federal repercussions.
With millions of dollars of cash flowing into the industry, both recreational and medical marijuana businesses face huge security risks when it comes to where to keep all of this dough. Further, cannabusinesses don’t have easy access to lines of credit. This means that getting a loan is virtually impossible.
Federal legalization would mean that the millions of dollars flooding into cannabis shops statewide would have somewhere to go. It would also enable the cannabis industry to expand more rapidly, as access to banking would give them the economic tools provided to non-marijuana businesses. The faster a marijuana business can grow, the more money a bank or credit union can make.
What bank wouldn’t want to see all of this capital?
The cannabis industry grew from $1.5 billion in 2013 to $2.7 billion in 2014. Numbers like this show that the world of weed business is becoming very hot very quickly. What’s one thing that marijuana businesses need to keep up with the high demand for their product? Employees.
The Marijuana Industry Group reported that the marijuana industry has created around 10,000 jobs in the state. 1,000 to 2,000 of which were added in a period of just a few months. Connecting cannabusiness owners with the talent they need can be tricky.
In legal cities like Seattle, marijuana focused agencies like Viridian Staffing have already popped up. Local branches of the Marijuana Business Association (MJBA) have also begun hosting job fairs in efforts to connect employers with people interested in becoming more involved in the industry.
Because cannabusiness can be difficult to break into for job seekers, staffing agencies are a must for getting the right people into the right positions. Wide-sweeping Federal legalization would enable more agencies to pop up, funneling unemployed or disgruntled workers into more fulfilling and exciting careers.
The economic benefits of legalization are overwhelming. Banking, tourism, and staffing companies are just three of the industries that will see growth if the Feds ever decide to legalize. The tech sector, cannabis research and testing labs, and manufactures of marijuana-based medicines will undoubtedly also see significant growth with cannabis reform. As far as our economy goes, there’s really little excuse for holding this industry back any longer.
Did any of these industries surprise you? Start a discussion in our comments section below! Have you been seeking ways to become more involved in cannabusiness? Let us knowsuccesses or challenges with others on social media or by commenting below. After all, you never know the true power of one connection!