The Economic Forecast Project of the University of California, Santa Barbara has released a preliminary economic impact report on the estimated impacts of the cannabis industry on Santa Barbara County.
The study estimates that cannabis growers in Santa Barbara County spend 51 percent of their total expenses locally. Growers spend $785,000 per acre on local goods and services yearly, not including payroll-related expenses, taxes, licensing and other fees.
Currently, the county has an estimated 156 acres that are legally cultivated with industry-wide expenses estimated at $122 million per year (excluding payroll, taxes and licensing).
According to the report’s assessment, cannabis growers in the county employ approximately 16 people per cultivated acre with an average yearly wage of $65,000, bringing the annual payroll cost per acre to nearly $1 million. For 156 legally cultivated acres, 2,500 jobs are created providing a total annual compensation to workers of $161 million.
The cannabis industry, the report states, directly supports an additional 2,400 jobs through spending in the local economy and 1,100 jobs indirectly through the activities of suppliers and employees, bringing the total impact of cannabis on area employment to 6,012 jobs.
The report’s summary preliminary finding is that the total economic impact of the cannabis industry in Santa Barbara County is $458 million per year.