Wages and jobs in the legal marijuana industry may be on the rise in Clark County and across the state.
A new, 28-page report from the Washington State Institute for Public Policy examined employment and wage data for businesses with marijuana licenses in the state of Washington and found growth in wages and number of workers.
From 2014 to 2016, licensed marijuana businesses reported employing an equivalent of 6,049 full-time employees statewide and paying $286.1 million in wages, adjusted for inflation.
For Clark County, the study reported that an equivalent of 222 full-time workers were paid $1.9 million at the end of 2016, earning an average hourly wage of $16.58 and a median hourly wage of $13.01.
Statewide, the average hourly wage was $16.42 and the median hourly wage was $13.42.
One big caveat of the study, said co-author Bethanne Barnes, was that it did not look at the marijuana industry in a vacuum. Researchers cross-referenced marijuana licenses from the state Liquor and Cannabis Board with wage data from the state Employment Security Department, so the success of other products or services could have attributed to the rise in wages and employment.