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Legal marijuana industry booming in U.S.

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SAN ANTONIO – The legal marijuana industry in the U.S. is booming, a top executive at Rackspace is leaving the company, and this year’s flu season is costing the U.S. economy billions. Jane King has the story.

Legal Marijuana Now Big Business in U.S


The U.S. legal marijuana industry is booming.

The emerging industry took in nearly $9 billion in sales in 2017, according to Tom Adams, managing director of BDS Analytics, which tracks the cannabis industry.

Sales are equivalent to the entire snack bar industry or to annual revenue from pampers diapers.

Nine states allow for recreational marijuana use, 30 now allow for medical use, and more states are lining up to join in, according to a CNN Money article.

CNN reports it has also created jobs. There are 9,397 active licenses in the U.S. and the list of jobs includes cultivators, manufacturers, retailers, dispensaries, distributors, deliverers and test labs.

More than 100,000 people are working in the industry and that number is expected to grow to more than 200,000 by 2021.

Another benefit is the tax dollars being brought in. Estimates state the industry owed $1 billion in state taxes in 2016 and $1.4 billion for 2017.

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Rackspace Departure


Rackspace hosting’s longtime former chief technology officer is leaving the company.

Biz Journals says John Engates began working at Rackspace in during its infancy in August 2000. He was vice president of operations, which included managing the company's data centers and customer service teams, before becoming chief technology officer in 2002.

The company says he will stay in San Antonio and perhaps work with start-up companies.

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Flight Delays on Google


Google can now predict flight delays.

It’s flights app will not only list confirmed flight delays, but it will also display reasons for the delays and, in some cases, even predict delays.

It uses historic data to come up with flights likely to be delayed.

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Older Athletes Making Big Dollars


Older athletes are raking in big dough in sponsorships.

Tom Brady, Roger Federer, Serena Williams and Floyd Mayweather all have lucrative deals.

Forbes says six of the top 20 earning athletes of 2017 are over the age of 35.

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Flu Costs


Flu cases are up sharply across the nation and its costing U.S. businesses billions of dollars.

Challenger, Gray & Christmas, an employment consulting firm, estimates the flu virus will cause a million adults to miss at least four, eight-hour shifts this year. They say that works out to about $9.4 billion in lost productivity nationwide.

The CDC says those who are sick should stay home to limit the health and financial damage.

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