TEMPE, AZ - A class on getting an Arizona job in the medical marijuana business is aimed at putting hundreds of young graduates to work in the controversial industry.
The comprehensive medical marijuana job seminar takes place this weekend in Tempe. The organizers say it could be the start of thousands of local jobs coming to Arizona, but some parents are not happy that the class is targeted towards high school grads and college students.
"We see these dispensaries being raided. We see landlords losing their properties we see people being arrested for this. They're losing a lot more than they're gaining," concerned mother Jessica Smith said.
Smith knows she definitely does not want her kids working for the medical marijuana industry after high school. As a member of Keep AZ Drug Free , she feels Arizona's marijuana law is going to get anyone involved with it in trouble.
"You can make a quick buck, and I think that's what they're after," Smith said. "They can put these young people out as their pawns to sell the stuff."
MedMen and spokesman Adam Bierman, the people behind a medical marijuana business seminar coming to the Valley, say many people have the wrong idea about the industry.
"I think the biggest misperception is ‘they're trying to attract my daughter to go get in to drugs.' That just couldn't be farther from the truth. We're here teaching people to go work in a retail business," Bierman said.
Currently, there are more than 32,000 registered marijuana patients in the state. Speaking inside a We Grow medical marijuana supply store, Bierman says those patients are a positive economic sign for Arizona; a place still struggling with high unemployment.
"This store employs however many dozens of people, pays taxes. The people that come in and purchase these products pay taxes. This is a boost to the economy, regardless of whether you agree or don't agree with the promotion of medical cannabis."
The Arizona Department of Health Services has already notified those who can start forming their marijuana dispensaries. The next step is for the department to perform inspections on the dispensaries. If they pass, they will be given the green light to open.
When: 2 p.m. - 5 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 6
10 a.m. - 1 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 7
2 p.m. - 5 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 7
Where: Tempe Mission Palms Hotel, 60 East 5th St, Tempe, Arizona
Registration: $85 if purchased in advance, and $105 if purchased the day of the event. themedmen.com/events/budtender