A new study from researchers at the University of California at Davis found that there are currently just over 50 recreational dispensaries in the United States.
That number was the lowest since 2008, and has been decreasing for years.
That may seem like a lot of places to grow cannabis.
But when it comes to recreational use, it’s actually quite small.
The study surveyed more than 4,000 recreational pot shops across the United State.
It found that just 8.3% of recreational dispensaries have at least one full-time employee.
The rest of them have part-timers, full-timing, or temporary workers.
That’s an 11% increase from last year.
The report also found that recreational marijuana dispensaries are more likely to be in rural areas.
In rural areas, marijuana sales are more common.
About 9% of the recreational marijuana stores surveyed reported having a recreational marijuana salesperson.
In urban areas, recreational marijuana shops are more prevalent in the suburbs and the cities.
Recreational marijuana shops in Los Angeles County, California, for example, are about one-third as likely to have a recreational salesperson as recreational marijuana markets in suburban and urban areas.
Recreationally marijuana dispensaries tend to be clustered around major metropolitan areas.
The average recreational marijuana store in a metropolitan area is about 60 feet from a school, park, or public restroom, and about 3,200 feet from the nearest recreational marijuana dispensary.
Recreally marijuana stores are much more likely in densely populated areas.
About 10% of marijuana stores in the study reported having at least 1 full- or part-time recreational employee.
Of those stores, 22% reported having multiple full- and part-timer employees.
And that number is growing.
About 20% of Colorado stores surveyed in the report reported having more than 1 full or part time recreational employee in 2015.
“It’s an ongoing issue for our community,” says Chris Gresham, a staff attorney at the National Cannabis Industry Association.
“The more recreational marijuana is available, the more the community is exposed to this product, and that makes it harder for consumers to know what to expect from the recreational market.”
One of the problems with recreational marijuana, Gresheim says, is that it’s available in a state where it’s illegal to sell recreational marijuana.
In 2016, Colorado legalized recreational marijuana use for adults.
But it only allowed the sale of a limited amount of the product in the form of joints, pipes, and edibles.
“We think that a lot more states are going to have to look at recreational marijuana if they want to be successful,” Gresher says.
In other words, recreational dispensaries may not be able to serve as a gateway to recreational marijuana because of the stigma attached to the drug.