PORTLAND, Ore. — When Oregon legalized recreational cannabis use eight years ago, people flocked from all over the country to either use it for themselves or get in on the ground floor of the burgeoning business. Today cannabis is a billion-dollar industry, producing hundreds of millions of tax dollars each year for state coffers.
Across the U.S., attitudes about cannabis use have been shifting as well. A whopping 88% of Americans now support legalization of cannabis in some form, according to Pew Research, and cannabis is now legal in 23 states, three U.S. territories and the District of Columbia.
But still the industry is plagued by issues stemming from the federal level, where it remains a Schedule I controlled substance alongside heroin and crack cocaine. Meanwhile, local crime, oversupply, the black market and high fees pose a threat to cannabis businesses in an industry that's still less than a decade old.
This week on Straight Talk, KGW's Ashley Korslien was joined by Joy Hudson and Marissa Rodriguez. They're the co-founders of Nimble, an Oregon-based wholesale cannabis distribution company. Hudson is a board member for the Cannabis Industry Alliance of Oregon and Rodriguez serves on the Oregon Liquor and Cannabis Commission and the Oregon Health Authority's rules advisory committees and workgroups.
Both Hudson and Rodriguez were recognized as "women of influence" this year by the Portland Business Journal.