Study: Medical Marijuana Will Create 1,500 Jobs in Arizona

When Arizona voters approved the use of medical marijuana in 2010, Steve Cottrell saw a way to combine his laboratory background and his interest in the plant he’d been studying since his 11-year-old son died of cancer more than a decade before.

Cottrell is now the owner of AZ Med Testing, a medical- marijuana testing laboratory. Dispensaries pay Cottrell and his business partner, Brenda Perkins, to test marijuana samples for mold and pesticides.

“We’re making money, but we definitely have our challenges,” he said. “But now that dispensaries are open, it’s moving forward.”

According to a study sponsored by the Regulated Dispensaries of Arizona Association, the jobs at AZ Med Testing are among estimated 1,500 that will be created by Arizona’s medical-marijuana industry.

Tim Hogan, an Arizona State University research associate who authored the study, used information from Oregon’s established medical marijuana industry to estimate the size of Arizona’s market

“It’s a pretty simple industry,” he said. “There’s not too much nuance. The main driving mechanism is how many patients.”

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