Cannabis, The Federal Government & Jobs – Creating and Keeping Them

Cannabis may be gaining acceptance around the country and that means as more and more states legalize recreational use but for every action, there is always an equal but opposite reaction. It has been said that cannabis will outpace manufacturing in terms of manufacturing jobs over the next 5 years but will the customers needed to get the industry to that level stay employed long enough to allow the industry to grow? If you are part of the cannabis industry, you are finding it easier and easier to sell your product, whatever it is but have you thought about your customer base keeping their job so you can keep yours? The biggest obstacle is Federal recognition. Not only does that keep the cannabis industry from being able to use banks, it can be hard to pay the promised taxes to the states that have legalized, which makes the industry look bad and since the feds have yet to recognize cannabis, it may be hard for your customers to get or keep employment since employers can cite the federal law in terms of what constitutes a failed drug test, regardless of what is legal in the state where it happens.

California recently legalized cannabis but

“The problem that California employers will have … is you have a state law that allows uses for recreational purposes, but of course you still have the federal law that makes it illegal,” said Michael Kalt, partner at law firm Wilson Turner Kosmo and government affairs director for the state council of the Society for Human Resource Management organization.

taken from Los Angeles Times

Take a look at Colorado’s Dish Network, On June 7, 2010 Dish Networks LLC fired Brandon Coats for violating the company’s drug policy after a random drug test showed Coats was using marijuana.
Coats is a quadriplegic who has been confined to a wheelchair since he was a teenager. He started working at Dish in 2007 as a telephone customer service representative. In 2009, Coats obtained a state-issued license for medical marijuana in 2009. He had informed the company he was a medical marijuana patient and planned to continue using marijuana.

Coats v. Dish Network and Firing Employees for Cannabis

This is not anything new, ask anyone with a medical marijuana card – even in a state where it is legal. Imagine being someone who has seizures but doesn’t have a college degree, or even a high school diploma. The lack of education alone will make it very hard for them to find employment at all, let alone find a good paying job. Being epileptic is very expensive, if you make $7.25 and worked full time, which in the age of the walmart model, does not happen very often but for the sake of argument, $7.25 x 40 = $290 a week, multiply that by 52 = $15,080 a year and divide that by 12 and your gross monthly income is $1,256.67. The cost of medications alone every month is between $1,000 and $3,000 (and sometimes more)  which someone on minimum wage can’t afford. If you don’t have your meds, you become an insurance liability for an employer where you could have a seizure at any time. CHARLOTTE’S WEB has shown that cannibis can help with issues like these,  now what the minimum wage employee has an affordable medication where cannabis is legal, he or she is guaranteed to fail any drug test, which again starts this cycle all over again and can keep people in a cycle of government dependency for just everyday things.The next affected group is veterans, many of them get medications for issues like PTSD.

“They end up getting a myriad of medications that, to quote a 2015 CNN article “There’s just a few medications on the market that work, and even these can be inadequate,” Sisley said. “They end up getting stuck on eight, 10, 12 different medications, and after taking so many, suddenly they’re like zombies.”
Some of these patients though were starting to feel better. They also seemed much more present. She wanted to know what was making a difference. They told her they found an alternative to all those medicines.
They were self-medicating with marijuana.

Taken From CNN

 

For all the benefits of cannabis, lobbyists and a president who says he wants less regulation –

“Donald Trump Promises To Eliminate Two Regulations For Every One Enacted”

Forbes 

or here

“Donald Trump Says 70% of Federal Regulations ‘Can Go’”

Fortune

This appears to not apply to cannabis, or the people who have taken key office positions, such as Senator Jefferson Beauregard Sessions being into the position of attorney general are very well know to be anti cannibus.

Politico printed a quote from the 1980’s from Sessions saying “As a U.S. Attorney in Alabama in the 1980s, Sessions said he thought the KKK “were OK until I found out they smoked pot.”

 

One of the groups that should, out of principle, support the cannabis movement should be republican and tea party movements. Both groups were at the forefront of “states’ rights” in terms of the confederate flag, we can only hope they stick to their ideologies when it comes to Cannabis but history has shown that they tend to do this when it fits with their agenda:

“But the question of states’ rights is central to political conservatives. Appealing to the Constitution — the 10th Amendment says the federal government only has the powers specifically delegated to it — and to good policy, they argue that the government closest to the people is best able to decide.
It’s undeniable that federal regulations and mandates can be too intrusive and that many public policy innovations occur at the state and local level. Yet the increasing mobility of American society, and issues such as communications and transportation, as well as the desire of major businesses for policy clarity, often require national prescriptions.
Moreover, conservatives often forsake the principle of states’ rights when it doesn’t fit their ideological goals.”
https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2015-06-28/republicans-capricious-embrace-of-states-rights
We can only hope for now that these ideals apply across the board to all industries or the cannabis industry and supporters will need to show our displeasure in the 2018 midterm elections and again in 2020 when we can truly drain the swamp if we are not heard. http://www.politico.com/story/2016/11/2018-house-republicans-democratic-senators-showdown-231570

It has been predicted that Cannabis will create more jobs then manufacturing will within 5 years. In fact, the latest market analysis from New Frontier Data shows legal cannabis may have the power to resurrect the “middle class,” which is the lifeblood of the U.S. economy, by contributing more jobs to the American workforce in the next few years than the manufacturing industry. The report shows legal weed could easily lend to the addition of a quarter of a million new jobs by 2020. That’s more of an employment boost than the combination of factory and government positions, according to Forbes. – See more at: https://thefreshtoast.com/cannabis/cannabis-industry-could-create-more-jobs-than-manufacturing-industry-in-next-five-years/#sthash.jEWkMp38.dpuf

Will the current administration follow through on the “Make America Great Again” promise and use every avenue available to them to fulfill said promise or will this prove to be a slogan strictly intended for “friends” of the current administration? Will they stay true to their promise of state’s rights when it may not their agenda? If the first 100 days of the current administration has shown us anything, they are not headed down a path of predictability, which could be good or bad for the cannabis industry.

 

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