Needles’ Embrace of Cannabis Pays Off

The town of Needles, California was one of the first to embrace the marijuana industry after voters chose to end prohibition in 2016. It has approved manufacturing, cultivation, and distribution businesses, along with four dispensaries.

The foresight has paid off, according to this Fox 5 KVVU report. Vertical Companies is just the latest company to set up shop in the old mining and railroad town. It now owns 29 acres of land and employs 60 people in the city. In the coming years, it hopes to hire several hundred more.

“We’re bringing jobs so our graduates from high school have somewhere they can work to make money,” said Mayor Jeff Williams, a former sheriff’s deputy who had a change of heart on the issue of cannabis.

Needles had fallen on tough times, so the introduction of legal cannabis meant everything. After the death of the railroad business, a mass exodus, and the closure of the town’s last grocery store, marijuana offered a way out. Today, it is a bedrock of Needles’ economy.

“It was a window of opportunity for us to get into the industry,” Williams explained. “That’s what you have to do as an elected official: Look for an industry to improve the quality of life for your citizens.”