Cannabis and the Economy: It’s Not Just Dispensaries That Benefit from the Bud

It's not just dispensaries that benefit from the bud

Money might not grow on trees, but it certainly grows on plants. Everyone who follows cannabis knows this, of course – dope has brought in the dough for states that have already legalized. It only took two years for Washington to hit the billion-dollar mark (for example).

Cannabis isn’t just monetarily great for those directly involved in cannabis – there are many supplemental businesses that benefit as well.

This is interesting (and important) for a few reasons. First of all, it shows the economic powerhouse that cannabis truly is – it not only makes money, but it helps other industries make it too. It leaves a flourishing economy in its wake.

Second of all, for anyone who wants a piece of the pot pie, it provides more choices. If you can’t break into the cannabis industry directly (or don’t want to for whatever reason), these businesses offer an alternative solution. You don’t need to own a dispensary to partake in the profits.

Businesses Benefiting from Legalization

So, what kind of businesses are finding new life thanks to Blue Dream and its friends? They include:


It’s well established that driving while high isn’t as dangerous as driving while drunk. But “not as dangerous” doesn’t mean “safe.” The only thing we should drive high on is coffee – lots of coffee! Many people take this Cannabis and the Economy: It’s Not Just Dispensaries That Benefit from the Budseriously and prefer not to get behind the wheel when they’re stoned. Enter ride-sharing! Uber, and the other car services that are similar is a great way to get wherever you need to go – you can order via the app and most rides show up within minutes. Or you can go the old-fashioned route and call a cab……whatever that is.

Pizza Delivery

There’s a reason Peyton Manning was painted as a genius when he bought into the Papa John’s franchise right before Colorado legalized pot recreationally – pizza and weed is a winning combination. Pizza is already popular, of course – one in eight people in the United States eats it on any given day – but pot ups the ante (and the consumption). Not only is marijuana famous for food cravings – as THC is especially known for priming the stomach – but it’s also convenient. When people are kicking back with a joint or two, convenience is highly coveted.

Yet, it’s not only pizza that benefits from this – fast food of all flavors experiences booms brought on by buds. In fact, Foursquare conducted research via their “check-ins” (new idea for a tagline “Foursquare: We make stalkers everywhere say ‘thank you.’”). What they discovered was that 4/20 – the day when potheads join together to smoke up – translated to better business (at dispensaries and everywhere else). Traffic at pizza places jumped 11 percent while fast-food visits jumped 20 percent. Naturally, this data is limited (as many people patronize businesses without announcing it on the internet), but significant, nonetheless.


In keeping with the above, mini-marts – or anywhere that sells quick, easy, and salty snacks – also find recreational weed beneficial. Again, this is partly because of the munchie factor – we’re hungry, so we buy a bag of popcorn and a bagel and fourteen boxes of Oreos and also that fern behind the counter looks good. But this has a social element to it too – smoking pot, for many, is done with friends. These get-togethers require food and 7-11 is our favorite caterer.

Anywhere known for the nightlife

Depending on what type of strain you imbibe with, marijuana can go several ways. It can make you want to chill at home, watching tv or playing video games or it can make you want to go out and do something fun, social, or adventurous.

Those who stick to sativas – the more energizing type of cannabis – often crave stimulation. And they leave their home to find it. That means venues that cater to the nightlife – bars, clubs, pool halls, coffee houses – can benefit from marijuana too.

So can casinos. Cannabis tends to lower inhibitions and that makes people Cannabis and the Economy: It’s Not Just Dispensaries That Benefit from the Budless likely to care if they lose money. Booze does this as well, obviously – the waitresses taking your drink orders every three minutes in Reno aren’t doing it because they’re worried that you’re thirsty. This isn’t to say that people will someday go around taking your strain order, but this isn’t to say they won’t, either.

No matter how you look at pot – as a benign plant that has no business being illicit or as something that should never see the light of day – the economic benefits aren’t a matter of opinion. Cannabis bolsters the economy through taxation, job creation, and work production (especially for people who rely on medical cannabis to get through their tasks). It clearly helps other industries too – economies thrive when people in those economies spend. Cannabis assures that we do.

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