While employers in the transportation industry are acutely aware of the effects COVID-19 has imposed over the last 18 months, another phenomenon has been making itself known: the ever-increasing tally of states and localities across the country legalizing cannabis for medicinal and recreational purposes. A majority of states now have enacted laws that permit patients suffering from debilitating illnesses to access and use medical cannabis. As of this writing, nineteen states, plus the District of Columbia and Guam, have also legalized recreational cannabis consumption. These new laws have led to a trend of more people using cannabis across the United States. For example, the United States Centers for Disease Control estimates that 48.2 million people, or about 18 percent of all Americans, used cannabis at least once in 2019. Rates of cannabis use are higher in states where medical or recreational cannabis has been legalized. In Colorado and Washington, where recreational cannabis was legalized in 2012, at least 26 percent of adults regularly use cannabis. There also has been a notable increase in cannabis use in states where cannabis was more recently legalized, with 22 to 25 percent of adults regularly using cannabis in Maine (2016), Massachusetts (2016), and Alaska (2014). These trends present both challenges and opportunities for the transportation industry. For example, many trucking industry employers are trying to address the issue of an aging workforce by appealing to a younger generation of workers.
Cannabis Business Executive – Cannabis and Marijuana industry news, 10/16/2021 12:59:00