$1.35 Billion Gigantic Cannabis Industry In Phoenix!

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$1.35 Billion Gigantic Cannabis Industry In Phoenix!

Just over a decade ago, Susan Hwang, CEO of Best Dispensary, began learning about cannabis. 

Hwang explained to NBC News that she is a “biochemist,” taking what she has studied in cannabis and applying that knowledge to the growing industry. Hwang opened up this luxury dispensary with the philosophy that cannabis could be used as a natural and holistic form of medication.

Hwang was born into a large family of immigrants. Much of what she has learned over the years is how much the industry has evolved, not only in the world of business but in the social realm as well. She feels that there are not many people that look like her currently running these kinds of businesses.

However, with skyrocketing demand for marijuana and new shops opening up each day, that could soon change.

There are many full-time employees that work with Hwang at her dispensary, including a licensed Arizona physician who works as the store’s medical director, a few pharmacists, a few registered nurses, and an extensive sales team. Though the cannabis industry is evolving quickly, it still carries the negative stigma from decades ago, when people believed that it lacked any health benefits and was simply a gateway drug.

Of course, with changing laws and a greater number of marijuana studies coming to the forefront, it’s clear that science has a different point of view. 

Experts in the industry are looking to shift the perspective on the drug, redefining it completely. Some of these experts refrain from using the term marijuana at all, as they believe there is a stigma attached to it, choosing to use the scientific term — cannabis Sativa.

Of course, ‘marijuana’ is simply the Spanish word for cannabis, though Hwang notes people often worry about equity issues, which is why they choose not to use it. 

At $1.35 billion and growing every day, the cannabis industry is offering plenty of unique opportunities for those looking to change their careers. People are entering the industry at higher rates than ever before, offering their own unique education and expertise. Hwang also notes that many people who work in the cannabis industry don’t actually consume it. 

Leafly wrote a very detailed report regarding cannabis jobs for this year. 

The report notes that cannabis industry employment has risen by 32% in the past year. It now employs more than 428,000 Americans, rising steadily over the past five years. 

America alone sold more than $25 billion in cannabis products in 2021. In 2020, after Prop 207 passed, Arizona became the 13th state to legalize cannabis. While medical marijuana has been sold in the state since 2010, the state now allows for the recreational sale of cannabis products to those who are at least 21 years of age. 

In the first year of legalization, Arizona saw more of a demand for cannabis than any other state. 

For more local news, head over to AZ Local Business

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