California’s cannabis economy and job market will grow in 2020

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Ayrn Taylor, a United Food and Commercial Workers union (UFCW) member and employee at the Venice Beach Care Center, displays medical marijuana during a media visit at the medical marijuana dispensary in Los Angeles, California February 6, 2013. Credit: REUTERS/Jonathan Alcorn.

A few years ago, there was a lot of talk about a green boom. More states were opting to legalize cannabis. Venture capitalists and entrepreneurs alike were anxious to get into the game. 

But that boom didn't really pan out, and lots of those early investors are closing up shop. The leading vape and tincture maker CannaCraft laid off about 16% of their staff in November. Delivery service Eaze recently cut 36 people from their staff. 

David Downs, California bureau chief for the Leafly, says while some segments of the industry are contracting, others will start to bloom this year.

“I do think we're going to see a fair amount of growth in California, at least in the double digit percentages,” he says. “And that's as the cost of cannabis continues to go down because more industrial growers are growing more of it.”

Downs says that the biggest obstacle to growing jobs in California's cannabis sector is getting counties and cities across the state onboard with allowing recreational weed dispensaries. Municipalities that have historically blocked those businesses are starting to open up the market. 

“We think the state will add about 300 new license stores and delivery services in 2020, and that's adding to the 600 that already exist. But this is still just scratching the surface,” he says. “For example, there are about 13,000 liquor store licenses in California. And that gives you an idea of how far we have to go.”

Credits

Host:
Larry Perel

Producer:
Cerise Castle