Can Marijuana Save the U.S. Economy?
|Charles Del Valle|
|Headline Centre: Business, Feature Centre: Business|
Portland, Oregon is expanding in just about every way you can imagine.
Sales are up. Home prices are up. Unemployment is down. And thousands of Americans are coming to this Northwest town and calling it home.
As you may know, I am involved (along with James Dale Davidson) in the medical marijuana business. Most dispensaries, grow operations and processors are hiring in Oregon. And most businesses are waiting with anticipation until recreational sales are fully opened up later next year.
We’ve already seen a small taste of what’s to come. In October, the state allowed anyone 21 or over to walk into a medical dispensary and buy dried marijuana flower or cuttings.
Many dispensaries reported that sales jumped anywhere from 5 to 10 times over, and remain strong.
Down south a bit, in California, lawmakers just passed a bill to regulate their medical marijuana system. I believe they expect full-on legalization within the next two years. If so, that would mean California is following in the same steps as Oregon (regulating the medical industry in anticipation of retail).
Once California allows sales to anyone old enough to drink alcohol, the entire West Coast, from California to Alaska, will have legalized recreational marijuana.
That’s huge, and it puts us a step closer to the Feds becoming more open to the situation.
That said, in Ohio, retail marijuana failed to gain voter approval. I suspect supporters were turned off when they realized that the proposal would create a marijuana monopoly.
There’s no doubt that we’ll eventually see the question of recreational marijuana appear on more ballots across the country, which will help fuel the rise of a multibillion-dollar industry.
This is all, of course, just one aspect of the U.S. economy. And while marijuana is a rapidly growing business, it’s simply not big enough to save the U.S. economy.