If you’ve been paying attention to the internet (or reading a newspaper like some kind of animal!), then you know that the cannabis industry is worth a pretty penny……a lot of them. And that makes getting a job in the market really attractive.
Unfortunately, this attraction also leaves the market highly competitive: it’s hard to get through the door because so many other people are elbowing and pushing their way inside.
So, how do you be one with Mary Jane? How do you become part of a movement that you feel so passionate about?
Tips For Getting a Job in the Cannabis Industry
Learn about it: Cannabis is an extraordinarily rich herb, with a lengthy and important history and numerous benefits. If you enjoy marijuana merely for the high, you’re human – yes – but you may not be industry material. So, learn as much as you can – embrace the knowledge with a thirst and a passion. That’s what the industry is all about, after all.
Know the laws: Without one Federal law blanketing the lands, the legalities of marijuana change when you cross state lines: you can light up south of the “Welcome to Colorful Colorado” sign, but continue north and you’re in Wyoming. But the laws aren’t just different between legal and nonlegal states, they’re different everywhere. For instance, Washington laws are different from those in Alaska.
If you’ve worked in legal state, don’t assume everything you know will translate – learn the laws of the land you’re in
And, what’s more, pay attention to what’s coming down the pike: there’s always something new on the ballot.
Be prepared for bullheaded banking: If you have the financial backing to break in – you can open a dispensary because you had the foresight to invest in Snapchat, for instance – then the process is more direct; you put your money where the weed is. But, what about us normal peons without the capital to capitalize on the industry?
Because cannabis remains illegal by Uncle Sam’s ridiculously high standards, banks aren’t willing to lend to those involved in cannabis. That doesn’t mean you’re up the creek without a paddle, but it does means you need to get creative in your currency. Private investors are a good way to go. Many are willing to back you, especially if you can show that it’ll be worth their while. And, if the industry keeps doing what it’s doing, it will.
Play the part: Before you go looking for marijuana investors, be sure you play the part of the eager entrepreneur. Cannabis is no longer viewed as a plant only consumed and adored by potheads – it’s used by all sorts of people from all walks of life.
Convey that you’re serious about cannabis
And, of course, convey that you’re serious about helping any potential investors earn a hearty return.
Be involved for the right reasons: Yes, marijuana is one heck of a lucrative leaf, but being part of the industry takes a lot of time and heart; if you’re only in it to make money, it’ll be easy to grow discouraged. You won’t necessarily fail – people make money in passionless industries all the time (getting rich off things like paper or flatware) – but you won’t have nearly as much fun. And you might resent the long hours and the hard work.
Becoming a marijuana entrepreneur is one thing, but what about people who just want to part of the industry in any capacity? What do you do then?
Up Your Odds Of Getting a Job in Cannabis
The industry can be tricky to break into regardless of the job you want; it’s just that saturated. But there are a few things that can up your odds of climbing the cannabis ladder. And these include:
Volunteer: Volunteering for places like NORML (which works to reform marijuana laws) is a great way to meet people who have connections (and people with connections hire). Of course, it’s a great way to give back too. It allows you to tunnel your passion for pot into something that cultivates real change and progress.
Look for entry-level positions: Everyone wants to be a budtender! But those jobs are snatched up quickly and not always available. Instead of having your heart set on one occupation, be open to a variety. If you have to start at the bottom, do. This might mean sweeping out a grow facility or standing outside and handing out flyers. People who start at the entry level show a willingness that doesn’t keep them at the bottom for long.
Get certified: Not all cannabis businesses care if you’re certified or if you have a degree from a cannabis program offered at one of the marijuana-friendly universities. Not all of them care if you have formal training at all. But many do. Some run of the mill degrees can help to – a cannabis company working to develop new strains will hire someone with a degree in biology or botany, but they’ll probably pass on someone whose only qualification is a love for weed and the lawn mowing service they ran as an eleven-year-old back in 1989.
Ask: When cannabis companies were hiring a few years ago, we’d hear about it. They posted ads on placed like Craigslist asking for applicants. This still happens, but not as often. The demand for marijuana workers is lower than the supply – this means companies don’t need to look for staff as much as they once did; people are already lining up to join the movement. It also means that dispensaries and other types of marijuana businesses may be hiring even if they’re not overtly saying so.
If there’s a dispensary you’d love to work at, stop by with a resume and ask if they’re hiring
At the very least, they’ll probably keep your information on file. If you know of a ground-breaking marijuana company you’d love to join, email them a resume and a cover letter and inquire about any present or future positions. It never hurts to ask – the worst people can do is just say no.