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.
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.
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.