The newly legal recreational marijuana industry in Massachusetts and the opening of the MGM Springfield resort casino later this year are sure to have an impact on the Pioneer Valley economy.
While it will take awhile to determine their long-term effect on the region’s economic health, one thing is for certain: both industries have hung out their help-wanted signs.
Voters in November 2016 approved a ballot measure legalizing recreational marijuana use by adults. The Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission is expected to issue its final regulations March 15, and to begin accepting applications April 1 for licensing marijuana businesses. Legal sales will start July 1.
Medical marijuana dispensaries will receive priority in the recreational pot licensing process, and they are already hiring. About 350 people attended a job fair in November to staff the INSA Inc. medical marijuana dispensary that opened during February at the Keystone Mill building on Pleasant Street in Easthampton, and nearly 1,000 more applied online, according to general manager Ian Kelly.
The INSA dispensary has 50 employees with backgrounds in areas including horticulture, botany, molecular science, chemistry,