Researchers from The University of New Mexico and California Polytechnic University find increased employment, especially in manufacturing, following the opening of legal recreational cannabis dispensaries. They found no evidence of declines in worker productivity, suggesting that any negative effects from cannabis legalization are outweighed by the job growth these new markets create.
In a recent study “The Effects of Recreational Cannabis Access on Labor Markets: Evidence from Colorado,” published in the IZA Journal of Labor Economics, authors Avinandan Chakraborty and Sarah Stith from UNM’s Department of Economics and Jacqueline Doremus from the Department of Economics at California Polytechnical University in San Luis Obispo found that unemployment fell in counties in which dispensaries opened, relative to counties in which dispensaries did not open. Employment increased, particularly in manufacturing, in response to dispensaries opening in a county. Author Avinandan Chakraborty explains, “In terms of jobs, it is clearly the counties with the recreational dispensaries that benefitted most after Colorado legalized adult-use cannabis.”
A worker tends to Cannabis drying as part of the harvesting process.
Recreational cannabis dispensaries opened in Colorado starting in 2014, with cannabis dispensaries operating in just 58 percent of counties by the end of 2018. Such bans persist