It’s an understatement to say that there’s a lot on the plate of our nation and leaders. While our economy has started to improve, much more still needs to be done and it is imperative that we learn to adapt quickly and think about how we can best address our needs into the future, and not just plan for “the last war”. Over the past year, one of the few economic bright spots has been the cannabis industry. Legalized states have produced thousands of new jobs and generated millions upon millions in additional revenue, while the cannabis industry, with one hand tied behind its back, has emerged as an essential, multi-billion dollar industry. Ending federal prohibition will allow the cannabis industry to truly flourish with a similar tax code and access to banking services like other business sectors. As Rolling Stone reported, ending cannabis prohibition could lead to a better economic revival in states like Michigan that have lost manufacturing jobs, and all across the land:
For example, according to a recent report by the cannabis media platform Leafly, there are more legal cannabis professionals nationwide than there are electrical engineers, dentists and paramedics. In Michigan, more than half of those cannabis-related jobs were added just in 2020 alone. Referring specifically to Michigan, the report dryly notes, “In a state known for its auto industry, the number of cannabis workers is now roughly equal to the number of auto repair mechanics.”
In 2020, according to Leafly’s findings, our industry sold $18.3 billion worth of product and supported 321,000 full-time jobs. The cannabis industry created this value last year without access to the regular security of banking and without even basic insurance programs available to every other business. Across the country, the industry did it with a concurrent illicit market competing against us every step of the way. We did it without being able to sell products between states as we do with automobiles or soybeans. Our industry is the industry of the 21st century — and it may just save us all.
This has undoubtedly been a terrible time in our country, but while so many other consumer industries have been shaken, cannabis has flourished during the darkness, proving that it can be the job creator and economic driver we need as we look to a much brighter future.
As Congress debates some serious issues about where to spend our hard-earned tax dollars and best move our nation forward, they shouldn’t ignore cannabis legalization for too long. With broad bipartisan support, sweeping Reefer Madness prohibition into the dustbin of history is a win-win for our nation. Thanks to hardworking advocates, legalization is here to stay in 17 states already, and will come to most remaining states eventually. For once, our legislators can embrace the future and help bring more jobs and revenue to communities that have suffered so much over the past year.
When you support Kind Leaf in beautiful Pendleton you are supporting an Oregonian-owned craft cannabis boutique that supports the local economy and community.