Scientists. Tax collectors. Typists. Analysts. Lawyers. And more scientists.
Recreational marijuana use becomes legal in California in 2018, and one of the things to blossom in the emerging industry isn’t green and leafy, it’s government jobs.
The state is on a hiring binge to fill what eventually will be hundreds of new government positions by 2019 intended to bring order to the legal pot economy, from keeping watch on what’s seeping into streams near cannabis grows to running background checks on storefront sellers who want government licenses. Thousands of additional jobs are expected to be added by local governments.
The swiftly expanding bureaucracy represents just one aspect of the complex challenge faced by California: Come January, the state will unite its longstanding medical cannabis industry with the newly legalized recreational one, creating what will be the United States’ largest legal pot economy.
Last January, just 11 full-time workers were part of what’s now known as the Bureau of Cannabis Control, the state’s chief regulatory agency overseeing the pot market. Now, it’s more than doubled, and by February the agency expects to have more than 100 staffers.
The agency is moving into new offices later this year, having outgrown its original quarters. It’s expected new satellite offices will eventually spread around the state.
There also will be scores of jobs added to issue licenses for sellers, growers, truck drivers, manufacturers and others working in the projected $7-billion industry. The state has taken to Facebook to lure applicants.
The bureau is using a video snippet of actor Jim Carrey, hammering his fingers into a computer keyboard, to catch the eye of prospective applicants online. “Get those applications in … before this guy beats you to it,” it reads.
“New job just ahead,” reads another post. “We’re hiring.”