Marijuana is now legal in some form in more than half of all U.S. states, and is rapidly becoming more widely accepted. In Colorado, the epicenter of legal pot in the U.S., there are now more pot shops than Starbucks and McDonald’s combined; sales in the state last year were about $1 billion. As highlighted in a recent NFPA Journal article, “Welcome to the Jungle,” there are also hundreds of grow houses and extraction facilities that can present myriad unique safety hazards.
This year’s November elections could be a watershed moment for marijuana legalization, with Massachusetts, Arizona, California, Maine, and Nevada voting on whether to allow recreational marijuana. Several other states, including Florida, Arkansas, and North Dakota, will consider legalizing medicinal marijuana, joining at least 25 other states and the District of Columbia where it is already legal.
How prepared is your public safety agency for this emerging industry?