California Capital Could Reap Billions from Legalized Pot, Study Says

Article by Sharon Bernstein, Reuters

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California’s state capital region could reap 20,000 jobs and generate $4.2 billion in business if it becomes a hub for a legalized marijuana industry, a study released on Monday showed, weeks before voters decide whether to allow recreational use of the drug.

The report from the University of the Pacific in Stockton was commissioned by the cannabis investment company Truth Enterprises, one of hundreds of businesses counting on voters to legalize pot next month.

“The Sacramento region should be to cannabis what Detroit is to automobiles in terms of both a center of innovation as well as production,” said Daniel Conway, who left his job as chief of staff to Sacramento Mayor and former NBA star Kevin Johnson to become Truth Enterprises’ managing partner. “This region has the ability to be to cannabis what Sonoma and Napa are to wine.”

If local leaders choose to limit the number and type of marijuana businesses, the study showed, legalization would bring as few as 1,600 jobs and generate about $322 million in revenues, wages and other economic impacts.

Polls indicate voters in the most populous U.S. state are likely to legalize marijuana on Nov. 8, instantly creating a massive marketplace and making California the fifth U.S. state to permit recreational pot use.

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