Where did Brown get her pot job numbers?
Attorney General Jeff Sessions' announcement that he'd rescind the Obama-era Cole memo prompted an outcry from many Oregonians Thursday.
Among them was Oregon Gov. Kate Brown, who touted the size of the industry and how many people worked in recreational marijuana, saying it had created more than 19,000 jobs.
This figure was repeated in news coverage across the state and nationally.
But it made us scratch our heads: mere months ago, we were told by the Oregon Employment Department for a story on marijuana revenue forecasting that, at the very most, about 12,000 people were employed by the recreational marijuana industry.
And that's likely a high estimate, OED economist Brian Rooney said at the time, since it corresponds to the approximate number of active marijuana handler permits.
On the low end of the estimate, using data and industry classifications from the U.S. Department of Labor, about 3,500 people reported on their taxes that they were employed in a marijuana-related industry.
So the real number is likely somewhere in the middle, Rooney told us, perhaps 7,000 or 8,000 jobs. Plus, it seems unlikely that Oregon would have more cannabis jobs than Washington — which according to a recent analysis had 11,000 people working in the recreational marijuana industry.