How Legal Weed Will Affect New Jersey’s Economy

New Jersey is on the cusp of making its weed laws friendlier. Senate President Steve Sweeney, a Democrat from Gloucester County, said in September that a bill to legalize recreational marijuana was “98 percent done.” He expects it to pass this fall. Legislative twists and turns have been characterizing the halls of Trenton for some time now. The cannabis industry is about to win a new state.

What does this mean for New Jersey? Economically. Cannabis Legalization has had a huge impact on the economies of states such as California, Massachusetts, Colorado, Maine, and others that have taken the plunge, and notably for the better. More people have jobs. There is more money for fiscal coffers. There is money to build and implement programs that improve the lives of many.

Impact of Legal Weed Laws

According to a study conducted by the Institute of Cannabis Research at Colorado State University – Pueblo earlier this year, Pueblo County alone contributed over $58 million in 2016 toward the local economy. In the same report, predictions are that this could increase to as much $100 million by 2021, which is in just three years.

Naturally, there were expenses too. Pueblo County spent $23 million from legalization just on law enforcement and social services. Despite this, the county still netted a whopping $35 million. Such dollars can have a serious and obvious effect on the economy of New Jersey, as well, a fact clearly on Trenton lawmaker’s minds as they consider legislation to legalize.

Additionally, as Forbes pointed out, the same study also found that legalizing marijuana is not increasing homelessness numbers or use rates among the youth. Under federal statutes, cannabis remains illegal. If one thinks on a national level, the economic benefit of legalizing federally could be enormous, for which weed analytics firm New Frontier estimates could be upwards of $105.6 billion by 2025.

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More evidence for the economic potential of legalization is a recent story by Business Insider. It reported the cannabis industry selling $9.7 billion of pot in the United States and Canada last year. This represents a staggering growth of 33 percent from the year before, which “shatters previous expectations about how quickly the cannabis industry could grow in the face of federal prohibition.”

Vangst, a leading recruiting network for the cannabis industry, has already connected more than 7,500 employees for front running marijuana companies across both Canada and the United States. That is many jobs, and from just one recruiting company. Vangst itself employs over 60 people at its headquarters and at a California satellite in Santa Monica.

Over the last year, according to Vangst, there has been an increase of 567 percent in revenues, as well as revenues of $5 million from specific projects in 2018. The cannabis industry is growing like none before it, at speeds never seen. It needs staff in every field imaginable, promising job opportunities for those unemployed in New Jersey.

Employment in the Cannabis Industry

Now that New Jersey is about to legalize, the Garden State is set to enjoy a massive employment boom, one desperately required. As the most densely populated state in all of the United States, New Jersey has a current unemployment rate of 4.2 percent. With marijuana legalization inevitable, investors will bring more job opportunities to the state, which would give these people means to support themselves.

In August, the U.S. Labor Report added 201,000 new jobs. However, it showed the unemployment rate staying flat. From 2017, the cannabis industry saw job growth listings soar a mindboggling 690 percent. Furthermore, the average increase in job salaries grew 16.1 percent last year, according to Vangst’s own research. The company created a salary guide for the cannabis industry in 2018, a first of its kind.

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Final Thoughts

Experts predict that, by the end of next year, the canna industry will be 220 percent bigger than it is today. In fact, there are more jobs than there are candidates now, with employers listing hundreds of new jobs every day. New Jersey, once it legalizes, will have access to these same opportunities, which will close the gap between employed and unemployed.

Companies recruiting staff for the cannabis industry have a massive advantage over other industries. They only need pitch jobs to undergraduates and newly graduated folks at respective colleges. They can also recruit during career fairs. The more people employed in New Jersey, the less crime they will have time to commit. Reports show violent and petty crimes decreasing exponentially in states that legalize.

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