In this introduction to the series we look at how the Cannabis Entrepreneur has moved from the student at college dealing to the other students to pay for pizza and school tuition, to high-tech oversight in all imaginable areas of America’s newest industry: the LEGAL CANNABIS INDUSTRY.  Legal Cannabis has manifested in a post prohibition era to be the new revenue of income for the local and state governments.  Also benefiting are smaller local economies reaping the benefits of having a cannabis businesses pulling revenues into the economy and creating new jobs.  Not only the third-party vendors who provide the packaging and delivery cars but contractors, handyperson, the sales clerk at the store, insurance, employee health care, etc. to the IT side of the industry including web designer, graphic designer, on-site tech nerd, cybersecurity, book-keeping and a plethora of other software and Apps and cannabis IT entrepreneurs creating mobile apps.  And let us not forget on-line banking and tax payment portals.

  The Washington Post reports that “In 2015, the legal marijuana industry in Colorado created more than 18,000 new full-time jobs in Colorado State alone.1”  With 28 more states and territories regulating legal cannabis this year, this new and progressive industry could land America 504,000 jobs in 2017.  This series covers that part of cannabis legalization and the positive effects on the industry that reaches into the tech world, Computer Programming and Cannabis.

  Hightimes Magazine just published a list of legal cannabis industry jobs, and #12 on their list…IT/Programmer.  With all those legal cannabis licensees and their websites, someone has to program them.

  The cannabis-specific job board WeedHire regularly lists open positions for e-commerce managers, tech bloggers and programmers  As of the writing of this article WeedHire has two IT/Computer Programming job listings:

PT Technical Support Specialist

Cannabis Training Institute Seattle, WA. A leading training organization in the cannabis industry is currently looking for a quality technical support. The second position is for a Growth Hacker & SEO. It’s for NestDrop in Mountain View, CA. Nestdrop is the first native mobile app in the U.S. providing on-demand medical marijuana and alcohol delivery.

  WeedHire itself employs over 35 developers and IT specialist.  Eaze, founded in 2014 by Keith McCarty provides a delivery service of medical cannabis to patients in California.  According to Eaze “They are the fastest growing technology startup in the cannabis industry.  Their platform allows patients to get medical marijuana delivered by friendly, background-checked drivers from local dispensaries in under 20 minutes.”  Both Founder Keith McCarty and CEO Tim Patterson worked for other companies as coders.  Now their company employ’s almost 20 programmers.

  The cannabis culture understands that programmers like to get stoned.  So much so that the FBI (still then Director) Director James Comey said in 2015:  “In order to pursue so-called cyber criminals, the government would pretty much have to let government hackers get stoned—because who’s going to quit the habit just to work for the FBI? “I have to hire a great workforce to compete with those cyber criminals and some of those kids want to smoke weed on the way to the interview,” Comey said.”

  By now you have to at least be chuckling to yourself and saying “yep,” and nodding in agreement.  And it’s not just the East Coast, Bloomberg reports “San Jose is the medical marijuana capital of the Bay Area and around 40 percent are tech workers, people from semiconductors companies, lots of engineers, lots of programmers, from some of the area’s biggest employers—Cisco Systems, Google, Adobe Systems, Apple, EBay.  People in Silicon Valley do like their pot.”

  This paradigm shift has resulted in less drug testing in the high-tech arena.  Why are the high-tech companies no longer drug testing?  Quora reports “One big reason is that drug testing insults the people who are qualified to work at an elite technology company.”   This is a huge plus for the cannabis industry and for employees looking for work who use cannabis on their off time.  From online cannabis entrepreneurs to all areas of programming and IT, cannabis and computer programming are traveling down the path to cannabis legalization together.  Series 2 presents legislation that helps and harms the legal cannabis industry in 2017 and 2018 and what the future legislation looks like for the IT industry.