Legal Marijuana Brings New Jobs, Interest From Big Business

×
marijuana
Getty Images
By Paul Toscano

The cannabis legalization trend is creating jobs in states where laws have been relaxed, and big business is "looking into the industry in a big way," an expert told CNBC on Friday.

In a dramatic change in drug policy, the Justice Department said Thursday it won't sue to stop the states of Colorado and Washington from allowing recreational marijuana use.

"It's really the first federal acknowledgement of the failed war on marijuana," Danny Danko, High Times senior cultivation editor, told "Squawk on the Street" on Friday.
Danko also pointed out that several federal regulations will still be enforced, including interstate transportation, trafficking to minors and proceeds going to criminal organizations. "As long as these companies in Colorado and Washington stay within these parameters, they will not be attacked by the federal government," he said.

With more than a dozen states allowing marijuana use for medical reasons, "the dominoes are falling very quickly" as more states are considering legalizing recreational use.

Danko said that Washington and Colorado have seen a "tremendous amount" of job creation in the wake of their marijuana initiatives, now that a wide range of industry-related jobs are required to support growing businesses.

Big businesses are "looking into our industry in a big way," Danko said. He expects that when investment from tobacco and pharmaceutical companies begins in earnest, these firms will require the on-the-ground expertise of individuals currently working in the young industry.
The "end-game" of this regulation trend is a federal rescheduling of cannabis, Danko said. Currently, the drug is listed in Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act, the most restricted category reserved for substances carrying "no currently accepted medical use." Other Schedule 1 substances include MDMA (ecstacy), heroin and LSD.

The less-strict Schedule 2 substances accepted for medical use include cocaine, opium and PCP.

More from CNBC

Increase your money and finance knowledge from home

Introduction to Preferred Shares

Learn the difference between preferred and common shares.

View Course »

Intro to Retirement

Get started early planning for your long term future.

View Course »

Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum

46 Comments

Filter by:
abdllaalm

Mrjoin it destroys the mind as drug

September 04 2013 at 4:38 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
culakedude

Tobacco companies should never be involved in the marijuana trade.They will put additive chemicals in pot to make it more additive like they did with tobacco and them start targeting kids like they did with tobacco.Whats next.Joe Camel Joint Smoker.Marijuana should be for mature adults and left natural without chemicals.

September 04 2013 at 2:10 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
KRIS WINDOM

I'm not surprised by this. It's been known that tobacco companies have been just waiting to be able to jump on the marijuana trade and they've also been saying about how there would be many types of jobs available once it gets legalized. This story just adds more proof of that.

September 04 2013 at 12:09 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Stephen

Legalized dope: Another sign of the continual disintegration of our society and moral values.

September 03 2013 at 11:53 PM Report abuse -3 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Stephen's comment
KRIS WINDOM

I disagree. There are numerous benefits due to legalizing marijuana. From the taxes brought in by the sale (and save in law enforcement and incarceration costs), to a more natural remedy for certain ailments, to jobs, to all the products that can be made from it. There are just so many positives to it. Yes there's those that'll abuse it but people already do that with alcohol, tobacco, caffeine, and countless over the counter and prescription drugs. And I'd rather be around a person who may smoke too much weed than overuse of any or those other things. Well, I may be able to handle an over-caffeinated person.

September 04 2013 at 12:17 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
mac2jr

The current growers HATE this, they will no longer be in charge, control the prices or quality, and now have to compete with R.J and such. Most of Oregon will go belly up, as the Giant Corporate Pot Farms take over.

September 03 2013 at 9:48 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
betty_brock

Prisons also create jobs.

September 03 2013 at 9:26 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
G

hi

September 03 2013 at 7:12 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
lsipsip

Is this legit or another sneaky way to incerate people? Show us the exposure and then the money.

September 03 2013 at 5:19 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
michael07

Yep, what we really need is Big Tobacco and Big Pharma to get involved.

September 03 2013 at 5:13 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
tony

danny danko? an expert? with no real horse in the race i presume...what a joke cnbc is...never read a bigger bunch of BS in my life....job creation? really, what do the do for work stare at the wall and eat hash brownies? the problem for people like danko is the fed govt can turn a blind eye all they want but the people that own the business's can still test and FIRE people for testing possitive at work...dumber and dumber is the way of the left

September 03 2013 at 3:35 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply