While there’s been much hype from Washington about the strong labor market and low unemployment rate in the United States, one aspect of these numbers has been completely ignored by the government–namely, the massive role of the legal cannabis market in creating new jobs.
According to a new report by Leafly and the consultancy group Whitney Economics, the United States has added over 211,000 full-time jobs in the legal cannabis industry, with over 64,000 of these full-time jobs being added in 2018 alone.
The report said:
“Amid the roiling debate over American jobs, the legal cannabis industry remains a substantial and unrecognized engine of grassroots job creation … In 2019, America’s cannabis industry is one of the nation’s greatest economic success stories. That success deserves to be recognized and celebrated.”
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The marijuana industry added 64,389 jobs in 2018, an increase of 44% from the year before, according to a new report from the cannabis website Leafly and Whitney Economics.#marijuana #WeRisetoLegalize #WeRiseNY pic.twitter.com/6FlR12KzbK
— We Rise To Legalize (@risetolegalize) March 16, 2019
When one takes into account indirect cannabis-related jobs such as lawyers, accountants and others, the number of people working “weed jobs” full-time rises to nearly 300,000.
In 2019 alone, California is expected to add over 10,000 cannabis jobs while Florida will add 9,500. The numbers contribute to a 2017-2020 expansion of the cannabis workforce by about 110 percent.
This means that cannabis is set to be the largest and fastest job creator in the country, with the second-fastest growing U.S. job belonging to solar voltaic installers, whose numbers will only increase by 105 percent over the course of a decade.
California became the first state to legalize cannabis for medical use in 1996, and 33 other states have since done the same. Ten states along with Washington, D.C. have freed the herb almost entirely, allowing adults over 21 to partake in the recreational use of cannabis. In 2018, legal cannabis sales increased by over one-third to $10.8 billion.
— Leafly (@Leafly) March 5, 2019
And as more states are expected to continue doing away with antiquated prohibitionist laws barring medical and adult recreational use, the number of new jobs created is projected to rise by leaps and bounds in what the report calls “America’s hidden job boom.”
“There are now more legal cannabis industry workers than dental hygienists in the United States,” the report said.
But the report also noted:
“And yet some jobs seem to count more than others. Political pundits still argue over jobs saved or lost at Carrier’s Indiana factory. Job-count dips in the coal mining industry are treated like lost national treasures, while other industries disappear without notice or mourning. “
Yet the fact that cannabis remains technically illegal under federal law means that the Bureau of Labor Statistics has refused to consider these to be real jobs or to factor these very real job gains into official statistics and reports.
And while job growth has bogged down in February, according to the bureau, the cannabis industry has prospered.
DataTrek Research co-founder Nick Colas said in a statement quoted by CNBC last week:
“U.S. marijuana legalization is a rare example of disruption creating jobs rather than destroying them … With the U.S. labor market recently showing signs of weakness and fears of an eventual recession in the wings, this is one industry that might soften the blow of an economic downturn.”
A recent poll by Pew Research Center also found that 62 percent of U.S. residents– including 74 percent of millennials–favor an end to the prohibition of cannabis, signaling an emerald dawn across the once cannabiphobic United States.
Scientists Thrilled by Discovery of Rare, Mammoth 400-Year-Old Coral
A massive 400-year-old hard coral discovered on the Great Barrier Reef has scientists expressing their sense of surprise and excitement.
Named Muga dambhi by the Manbarra people, the Indigenous group who have traditionally taken care of the land, the “exceptionally large” brown and cream-colored coral is located off the coast of Goolboodi or Orpheus Island in the Great Barrier Reef.
It is believed that the coral was spawned some 421 to 438 years ago, meaning that its age predates the arrival of Captain James Cook and the advent of colonization in Australia, notes the Guardian.
The spectacular coral is about 35 feet wide and over 17 feet high, and is double the size of the nearest coral.
Scientists and members of the community participating in a marine science course discovered the specimen earlier this year.
While not the largest coral in the world, the huge find is of major significance to the local ecosystem, according to Adam Smith, an adjunct professor at James Cook University who wrote the field note on the find.
“It’s like a block of apartments,” Smith said. “It attracts other species. There’s other corals, there’s fish, there’s other animals around that use it for shelter or for feeding, so it’s pretty important for them.”
“It’s a bit like finding a giant redwood tree in the middle of a botanic gardens,” he added.
It is likely that the coral hasn’t been discovered for such a long time due to its location in a relatively remote and unvisited portion of a Marine National Park zone that enjoys a high degree of protection.
“Over the last 20 or 30 years, no one has noticed, or observed, or thought it newsworthy enough to share photos, or document, or do research on this giant coral,” Smith said.
The coral is in remarkable condition, with over 70 percent of its surface covered in live coral, coral rock and microalgae. No disease, bleaching or recently deceased coral has been recorded on the specimen.
“The cumulative impact of almost 100 bleaching events and up to 80 major cyclones over a period of four centuries, plus declining nearshore water quality contextualise the high resilience of this Porites coral,” the field note added.
The specific coral has been given the name Muga dhambi, meaning big coral, out of respect for the Indigenous knowledge, language, and culture of the Manbarra Traditional Owners.
Greenland Ice Washed Away as Summit Sees Rain for First Time in Recorded History
For the first time in recorded history, torrential downpours of rain have struck Greenland’s icy summit nearly two miles above sea level.
Greenland, an environmentally sensitive island, is typically known for its majestic ice sheet and snowy climate, but this is fast changing due to a massive melt taking place this summer.
However, the typical snowfall has been replaced in recent years not simply by a few showers, but by heavy rainfall. The torrential downpour last week was so huge, in fact, that it washed away a terrifying amount of ice across some 337,000 square miles of the ice shelf’s surface, reports Earther.
Temperatures at the ice shelf had simultaneously warmed to a significant degree, with the summit reaching 33 degrees Fahrenheit – within a degree above freezing and the third time that the shelf has surpassed freezing temperatures this decade.
The fact that rain is falling on ice rather than snow is also significant because it is melting ice across much of southern Greenland, which already saw huge melting events last month, while hastening rising sea levels that threaten to submerge whole coastal cities and communities.
To make matters worse, any new ice formed by the freezing rainwater will not last long. The ice shelf currently existing on Greenland was formed by the compression of snow over innumerable years, which shines bright white and reflects sunlight away rather than absorbing it, as ice from frozen rain does.
The huge scale of the melt and accompanying rainfall illustrate the growing peril of rapidly warming climate conditions across the globe.
“This event by itself does not have a huge impact, but it’s indicative of the increasing extent, duration, and intensity of melting on Greenland,” wrote Ted Scambos, a senior research scientist at the National Snow and Ice Data Center at the University of Colorado. “Like the heat wave in the [U.S. Pacific] northwest, it’s something that’s hard to imagine without the influence of global climate change.”
“Greenland, like the rest of the world, is changing,” Scambos told the Washington Post. “We now see three melting events in a decade in Greenland — and before 1990, that happened about once every 150 years. And now rainfall: in an area where rain never fell.”
South Korean Toilet Turns Poo Into Green Energy and Pays Its Users Digital Cash
What if your morning #2 not only powered your stove to cook your eggs, but also allowed you to pay for your coffee and pastry on the way to class?
It seems like an absurd question, but one university in South Korea has invented a toilet that allows human excrement to not only be used for clean power, but also dumps a bit of digital currency into your wallet that can be exchanged for some fruit or cup noodles at the campus canteen, reports Reuters.
The BeeVi toilet – short for Bee-Vision – was designed by urban and environmental engineering professor Cho Jae-weon of the Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST), and is meant to not only save resources but also reward students for their feces.
The toilet is designed to first deliver your excrement into a special underground tank, reducing water use, before microorganisms break the waste down into methane, a clean source of energy that can power the numerous appliances that dorm life requires.
“If we think out of the box, feces has precious value to make energy and manure,” Cho explained. “I have put this value into ecological circulation.”
The toilet can transform approximately a pound of solid human waste – roughly the average amount people poop per day – into some 50 liters of methane gas, said Cho. That’s about enough to generate half a kilowatt hour of electricity, enough to transport a student throughout campus for some of their school day.
Cho has even devised a special virtual currency for the BeeVi toilet called Ggool, or honey in Korean. Users of the toilet can expect to earn 10 Ggool per day, covering some of the many expenses students rack up on campus every day.
Students have given the new system glowing reviews, and don’t even mind discussing their bodily functions at lunchtime – even expressing their hopes to use their fecal credits to purchase books.