Recreational use for marijuana will become legal in California within the next couple of months. Surprisingly enough, one thing that is rapidly emerging is government jobs.
California is on the move to hire and fill hundreds of new governmental jobs all intended to help regulate the "Green Rush" California is about to embrace.
The main cause is to run background checks on storefronts who are in search of the prestigious government licenses.
In January, California will unite its longstanding medical cannabis industry with the newly legalized recreational one, creating what will be the United States' largest legal pot economy in history.
Last year, there were only 11 full-time workers with the Bureau of Cannabis Control. Currently, it's more than 20, and by February the agency expects to have more than 100 staff on board. The bureau plans to move into a new office later this year, to keep up with the need for jobs.
There will also be a ton more of jobs added to issue licenses for sellers, growers, truck drivers, manufacturers and others working in the projected $7 billion dollar industry.
This year's budget for California is close to $100 million for marijuana regulatory programs, which includes personnel to review and issue licenses, watch over environmental conditions and carry out compliance and enforcement issues. Some of the jobs are highly specialized.
Environmental scientists will be responsible for establishing standards for pot grows near streams, to make sure fertilizer or pesticides do not taint the water or harm fish.
Engineers will monitor groundwater and water being diverted to nourish plants.
Attorneys will be required to help sort out complex issues involving California's environmental laws.
Policing legal cannabis cultivation has been a long-running concern in California. Many illegal marijuana grows end up polluting waterways with pesticides and other waste.
California claims to be ready to issue temporary licenses in January of 2018. Just in coastal Mendocino County alone, upwards of 700 cultivators have applied for permits. The biggest fear is that many growers and/or sellers will remain in the black market, which undercuts the legitimacy of sales. Once the recreational use is finalized in California the main issue is on how to keep the black market's hand out of the honeypot!
Other politicians are concerned with keeping California's roads free from stoned drivers as well as helping to stomp out illegal operators. as far as the stoned drivers increasing, that shouldn't really be a problem since medical marijuana has been legal for many years now. Not to mention the already legal use of alcohol which is a 1,000 times more dangerous.
However, the illegal operations is another story. That is definitely going to be a major concern that will require full attention and monitoring! Another key focus will be keeping legally grown pot from moving into the hands of the black market.
One thing is for sure. Marijuana use and normalization is rapidly occurring and shows no signs of slowing down. Eventually all of the United States will be following California. Hopefully they will have it all figured out so by then, there is less harm than good!