- Politics and Social Issues
The Booming Job Market Surrounding Medical Marijuana
New "High" on the Employment Scene
Whatever you think of the legalization of marijuana, new laws permitting the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes have opened a wide door of new job opportunities in southern California. Jeff Tyler of Marketplace recently reported on the explosion in new jobs due to the change in the law in southern California: Medical Marijuana on a California High.
With around 600 licensed dispensers in Los Angeles alone, it's obvious that more than a few new jobs have come alongside the change in the law. Tyler talked with Steve DeAngleo who has become an MM (medical marijuana) entrepreneur, and charges $400 per hour to provide quality control testing on the marijuana that is being prescribed to patients.
Now it's easy to get a good laugh on the idea of being paid big money to test the quality of pot, but DeAngelo makes the point that there are plenty of ancillary business opportunities emerging around the new, legal product on the market.
What are the New Jobs?
The sheer explosion from the release of pent up demand has jump started a cottage industry on a scale perhaps not seen since the high tech boom of the 90's. Granted the overall number of jobs involved is very small compared to the tech boom, but in an economy that is shedding employment in every sector, the medical marijuana segment is providing a ray of light for unemployed workers - at least in California.
Along with testing the marijuana, the businesses supporting medical marijuana have plenty of other needs from basic office administration and internal finance, to health screening of patients by nurses, physician's assistants, etc., and lab tests on patients relating to the conditions which MM may treat.
The quality control business itself is likely to explode as standards are promulgated relating to the amount of the active ingredient (THC), and the other ingredients that are acceptable in the consumer used product. Chemists, biologists, and clinical pharmacologists will work in teams akin to the work they do seeking FDA approval of new prescription drugs, or in the creation and marketing of food supplements.
As advocacy and health considerations relating to treatment with marijuana arise in more and more jurisdictions, jobs in the regulatory field will expand dramatically. More than any other profession, this may also be the ultimate boon for attorneys. There are so many legal questions that are yet to be answered concerning the manner in which the product is disseminated.
Somewhere, There's a Job for You
Perhaps you feel that marijuana should not be legal - for any reason. Changing laws mean that opposition groups will gain in strength as well, and they will need staff to handle their workload just as those in favor of permitting marijuana use do.
But also, the push for legalization or tolerance of marijuana use has helped spawn collateral business opportunities as well. The use of hemp in myriad products, particularly clothing and textiles, has increased many times over in the last decade.
The bottom line on this trend is that it provides some hope for people that are struggling and doubting in ways they never have before. One can only dream that the kind of economic surge that has come to California could be reproduced in desperate economic centers like Detroit and all of Michigan, which has now passed its own referendum allowing the medical use of marijuana within its boundaries.