COB to host state’s first economic outlook event

Illustration by Jack Lambert

Illustration by Jack Lambert

Observer Staff

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The CWU College of Business’ Economics department will put on an event called the Cannabis Caucus on April 27, which will be the Washington state’s first economic outlook conference dedicated to the newly flourishing industry.

In 2016, the marijuana industry generated $6.7 billion in sales, according to Forbes. This new industry is projected to top $20.2 billion in sales in the United States by 2021.

The marijuana industry is unfamiliar to people because not many people are educated about the industry and most already have their opinions on the drug itself. In Washington state, strict laws are put onto marijuana businesses. The difficulty that these businesses face are the assumptions that dispensaries simply get a business license and begin to sell pot.

“The marijuana industry is like any other business,” Cory Wendt, co-owner and operations manager of the Happy Crop Shoppe, said. “Our business has laws and regulations like any other business that we must follow and practice regular day-to-day operations.”

In regards to the industry and college students, Wendt says that how the alcohol industry works is similar to the marijuana industry. Beer and wine majors and minors are becoming popular at universities and Wendt claims that the future will include marijuana programs with fresh minds to expand the industry.

The University of Washington offers a class on medicinal cannabis and chronic pain. Accredited universities such as University of Vermont and Ohio State University, also offer courses within the science of marijuana and legal issues that surround it.

The marijuana industry is on the rise in the state of Washington, and has set an exemplary model that even California has made efforts to follow.

Although Washington has more strict laws and regulations in comparison to Colorado and Oregon, the state has created more opportunities for small business owners rather than monopolies.

The conversation about the marijuana industry continues to be controversial amongst people. The intent of this conference is to broaden community knowledge of the trends, challenges and opportunities in the Pacific Northwest cannabis industry.

The conference will be held on April 27 from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. in Sue Lombard Hall. Registration is free for students and $25 for non-students. There will be limited space and registration must be done in advance by visiting

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COB to host state’s first economic outlook event