I live in southern Oregon, and the marijuana industry has definitely disrupted business as usual here. Local businesses that previously had a stranglehold on (both highly-skilled and low-skilled) employees are now finding themselves having to “play nice”, pay more, and not treat their employees like dirt, because there’s always that job at the dispensary or grow-site. And there’s a decent off-the-books market too. Rent has skyrocketed, there are very few vacancies, and real estate is getting to be southern California expensive. I love that marijuana is legal in my state, but man – it does impact the economy.
That said, it’s hard to feel anything but schadenfreude for the tech biz. While legal marijuana is disrupting everything and raising prices and changing the local economy… that’s a side effect of a popular industry that provides a variety of employment options, which includes people who previously could only work in the black market.
It’s not like there’s a dispensary with the motto, “Move fast and break things”. Marijuana growers don’t have to publicly announce that their motto is “Don’t be evil”. I’ve never bought marijuana and had to sign a EULA, or had my privacy invaded, or my personal information sold for targeted ads.