Are you interested in starting a career in the cannabis industry? Curious about how things are developing in this new space? Well, then you’re in the right spot! It’s an incredible time for cannabis as legalization is sweeping the nation and the stigma surrounding cannabis is subsiding. All of this is creating an enormous number of exciting opportunities for anyone new to cannabis or for those looking to branch out.
First, let’s acknowledge that cannabis is one of the most complicated and highly regulated industries on the planet. Especially in terms of compliance needs. Specialized knowledge is needed in each sector, along with hustle, hard work, and research.
If you’re looking to launch a career in this industry or you’re already in the industry and looking for education to further your career, here are 3 impactful steps you can take to be on your way to working at your cannabis dream job.
- Research career paths. Learn about the different sectors in the cannabis industry and see which avenues appeal to you most. How does your background and experience translate to cannabis? Cannabis industry business types are typically: growers/producers, processors, manufacturers, testing labs, retailers, and ancillaries such as marketing, operations, and HR.*
- Build your cannabis knowledge. Many companies desire employees who have cannabis knowledge, cannabis education, or cannabis experience. If you’re not sure if you have the knowledge necessary, reach out! Talk to different cannabis companies, follow different businesses on Instagram, LinkedIn, and other social media platforms. Ask questions, like what kind of experience is required for certain positions. Usually, this is listed on the job description, which is often a good place to start.
- Networking. Attend cannabis career panels such as the ‘Cannabis Career Summit’ hosted by Green Flower partnering with Western Washington University. Attending events in your community can be a great way to network and make lasting connections with others in the industry such as Cannabis Alliance, Lemonhaze, Canna Clusive, or the Facebook group WIC (Women in Cannabis). Look for local events in your area and attend trade shows.
- *Examples of job titles that might exist in this market include: Budtender, Account Rep, Graphic Designer, Brand Manager, Merchandiser, Buyer/Product expert, Bookkeeper/Accountant, Human Resources Manager, Marketing Manager/Assistant, Operations Manager, Content Writer, Trimmer, Grower, Extraction Technician.
If you’re reaching out to a business, make sure you have a strategy. Don’t just reach out directly without doing your research. Know the company you’re interested in and make sure what they’re doing is aligned with what you want to do. Take advantage of any tools and educational materials they offer on their website, such as blog posts or youtube videos. Always remember to be yourself and demonstrate authentic enthusiasm!
Not sure what skills you should have when trying to break into the industry? In our experience, it’s good to have the following:
- Be adaptable. Cannabis experience is commendable but the industry is moving fast ahead of the old practices and being adaptable is an extremely important facet in this industry.
- Be curious. Being aware of changes in the industry and staying curious about cannabis is also important.
- Be a team player. Being a go-getter and continuing to evolve and push yourself to grow is an asset in this industry.
- Think outside the box. There are many new opportunities arising in the cannabis industry every day. Thinking out of the box will get you farther in your career and open new doors for you.
Online job boards are a fantastic option when you are seeking a career in the industry. Below are some resources that might be helpful.
- 420Careers – In a nod to the future of where the cannabis industry is going, 420Careers is owned by Northsight Capital, LLC, a venture capital firm looking to take in capital to re-deploy on cannabis-related assets.
- Craigslist – Don’t forget about this great resource for openings. If you do a search in the city you currently reside in, and the term “marijuana”, or “cannabis”, you will be able to find positions listed in most states that have legal recreational, and medical markets. The bulk of Dockside’s first round of hiring came from a post on Seattle Craigslist.
Regardless of how you go about your job search, make sure you approach each opportunity with an open mind and curiosity. Like any job quest: research the culture of the company you are applying to and always follow up. This is an exciting time to be getting into the recreational cannabis industry. Best of luck!