Cannabis is becoming one of the most lucrative crops in Arizona


Bethan Rose Jenkins, Cannabis News Writer/Editorial

When Proposition 207 was approved by Arizona voters last November, industry advocates took it as a guarantee that the economy would rapidly inflate. Considering the fact that the industry is approaching the billion-dollar mark, they weren’t wrong.

According to state revenue results, cannabis sales surpassed $970 million through September, with figures expected to continue rising throughout the remainder of the year.

To ensure that growing consumer demand is met, many companies are seeking out larger properties. After all, increased business relies on extra space; not only to serve customers but also, to produce, package and test cannabis-based products.

One prime example of a cannabis company in Arizona that is scaling to meet surging demand is Grow Sciences. The company is in the process of constructing a new 80,000 square-foot facility in West Phoenix, which will provide ample space for more than 100 new employees and quintuple the amount of product being sold each month.

On top of this, it goes without saying that the state is getting a slice of the legal cannabis pie. In fact, the Arizona Department of Revenue claims that the state generated $154 million in tax revenue from cannabis sales during the  first nine months of its inception.

The vast majority of tax money is used to support Arizona’s general and educational funds, counties, municipalities and, in many cases, law enforcement.

Growth of Arizona’s cannabis industry invites competition and opportunities

It goes without saying that Arizona’s ever-growing cannabis market is attracting competition. This is especially true considering the fact that recreational cannabis licenses are limited; anyone who is lucky enough to obtain a sought-after license may feel tempted to sell theirs for millions of dollars. Additionally, out-of-staters are keeping a close eye on investment opportunities in the market.

Moreover, cannabis exports could benefit Arizona’s economy if nationwide legalization occurs. In the event that federal cannabis legalization does happen, pro-cannabis groups like the Arizona Cannabis Industry Trade Association are hoping to see Arizona take the lead as one of the biggest U.S. exporters of the drug. 

“We want to set up an export state. We want to set up a state where we are manufacturing as many products as possible, cultivating as many products as possible.” said the CEO and founder of Arizona Cannabis Industry Trade Association, Demitri Downing.” Export, export, export, that’s where we want to be.” 

Growing number of Arizonians seek out cannabis jobs in a post-pandemic world

The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic created a serious dent in Arizona’s economy. As the state picks up the pieces that have been left behind by the lingering health crisis, the unemployed are turning their attention in the direction of legal weed.

As a flourishing new industry with plenty of potential for growth, it is understandable why so many people are considering a job in Arizona’s cannabis sector.  Since November’s passage of Prop. 207 a law that effectively legalized the recreational consumption and sales of cannabis for adults 21 and above industry demand and interest has skyrocketed.

It’s not just recreational cannabis that presents an opportunity for job seekers but also, medical. After all, medical cannabis was legalized statewide by voters in 2010. 

“We’re receiving lots and lots of applications,” said Raul Molina, who serves as chief operating officer of one of the state’s leading cannabis retail stores, Mint Dispensary. “We’ve been lucky enough to cherry-pick some incredible people.”

According to Molina, the meticulousness of their cannabis-focused candidate selection process which is much more painstaking than it is for the retail or hospitality industries is not necessarily a bad thing. 

Why? Because it means that, based on state law, her company need not employ someone who has specific criminal backgrounds. She noted that the increased interest in Arizona’s cannabis workplace is largely attributed to the fact that the industry boasts competitive hours, employee benefits and salaries.