Oregon Cannabis Economist Releases Economic Impact Report


Whitney Economics’ Report, Compiled at the Request of the State Legislature, Indicates There are 12,500 Cannabis Jobs in Oregon, Generating $315 Million in Wages

Cannabis industry economist Beau Whitney of Whitney Economics released the results of Cannabis Employment Estimates, a report compiled at the request of the Oregon State House of Representatives Committee on Economic Development and Trade on the number of jobs associated with the Oregon cannabis industry and a projection of the economic impact the industry is having on the state.

“On a national basis, the $50 billion cannabis market is essentially the equivalent to the U.S. wine market ($55 billion),” Whitney said. “And there are more than 1,000 businesses in Oregon that touch cannabis. I suspect that this is a very conservative estimate based on limited data from the Department of Employment and the OLCC.”

In summary, Whitney’s report found:

• As of February 21, 2017, there are 917 OLCC licensed cannabis businesses and an additional 1,225 applications for a cannabis business. 2,142 in total. The Oregon Employment Department lists 776 cannabis businesses in Oregon

• There are approximately 12,500 jobs associated with the cannabis industry in Oregon. These are jobs that directly touch cannabis and are not jobs associated with auxiliary businesses such as security, regulatory, accounting, consulting, real estate, etc. This is a very conservative estimate and these numbers are expected to increase once the more detailed analysis is completed

• At an average wage of $12.13/hour, the total annual wages associated with these jobs are $315 million. With a multiplier of 4, this implies that there is $1.2 billion in economic activity related to these wages

Whitney said the report does not extend into the supply chain for “shovels or picks,” meaning lights, greenhouses, insurance, real estate, accounting, security, etc.

“At present, I feel there are roughly 300,000 – 400,000 cannabis-touching jobs in the USA,” Whitney said. “That number will grow to more than a million as more states come online as legal markets. Cannabis is a job-creation machine.”

Whitney said a more comprehensive jobs report will be researched and published later in 2017, but this initial update should demonstrate the cannabis industry is a powerful force in the Oregon economic engine.

Download the news release and Whitney’s report here.

Beau R. Whitney is an economist, a university professor and is the former COO of Golden Leaf Holdings, a vertically integrated, publically traded company. Prior to working in the cannabis industry, Beau spent 15 years in the high-tech industry in business operations roles, most notably at Intel and TriQuint Semiconductor. Whitney has published a series of white papers on the cannabis market in the USA and is considered an authority in cannabis economics. He recently presented a paper at the 91st annual Western Economics Association International conference on economics’ role in shaping public policy and was recognized by his peers as being a pioneer in this field of study.


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