“[When you’ve] walked through that doorway of opportunity…you do not slam it shut behind you…you reach back, and you give other folks the same chances that helped you succeed.”
– Michelle Obama
Why This Blog
We get messages to the ColoradoCannabisTours Facebook page inquiring if we are hiring and asking for information on how to get started in the cannabis industry. But I was especially struck by this line of questioning last November I was visiting Las Vegas for the Marijuana Business Conference. I was chatting with my Uber driver, who asked for advice on how to get started in the cannabis industry.
This man had brown skin and a foreign, possibly Middle-Eastern accent. This occurred immediately after the election, I was personally grieving over the fact that hate and discrimination had apparently just won an incredible victory. As if the pain that minorities and women already experience in our society wasn’t bad enough, the new power in the White House certainly doesn’t bode well for the collective experience improving any time soon.
Wanting to be a person that helps combat this wave of violence and suppression of minorities and women, I decided to try and give him actual advice. You see, I want people like him to succeed in our country, and in our industry. Whether we [the cannabis industry] are allowed to continue legitimately, or not, I believe that the cannabis industry and community will nurture and originate much of the opposition to the United States’ upcoming collective nightmare.
So here is a first step in that direction. And the intention of this blog. Real world advice on how to be a professional in the cannabis industry.
Working With the Plant
Independently growing and selling cannabis has always been an option, the whether you are in a legal state or not. It’s a matter of deciding to whether to risk prosecution while this plant is still scheduled as an illegal substance. Fortunately, we live in an era where there are emerging legitimate paths for employment, and brand-new cannabis companies that are willing to hire you for your skills. If you have experience growing or processing bud, Budtenders, Grow Masters, Trimmers and Extraction Technicians will always be in demand because of their expert skill-set. However, even with all the experience in the world, each state has its own rules on who is legally allowed to work with the regulated sale and distribution of this plant.
This should go without saying, but it’s the most obvious step in getting a job in cannabis. The good news is, if you bring some basic competency in this area, you will stand above the crowd in several ways. The vast majority of cannabis employees are smart, hard-working people, however; this can be severely lacking on occasion.
Think up and compile all the skills that you bring to a potential employer. Don’t be afraid to get creative about your experience and how it can apply. For example, maybe you worked at The Gap last holiday season. This is valuable experience that can demonstrate your ability to work in a professional retail environment like a dispensary. You can give advice on displaying product, managing inventory, and especially customer service with a variety of skill sets and experiences.
Take the time to create a thoughtful resume. Your presentation matters, and reflects on the quality of work you will bring to the company you are applying to. As a manager in the industry I have personally seen the entire spectrum, from incredible examples of resumes I would be happy to claim as my own; to literally, two words on a document. In this particular case, the applicant simply wrote their first and last name in a Word document, saved it, and hit send. Needless to say, the more effort you put in, the more likely it is that you’ll land the job you are seeking.
Perhaps you’ve grown weed your entire life, but can you speak intelligently to the science of cannabinoids in the body? Do you know how hash is made? Identify your areas of weakness and get out there and learn! There are valuable resources on the web with lots of free information if you only take the time. THC University offers a free Marijuana 101 course online.
Educate Yourself on State Law
Each state has it’s own rules regarding the regulation of cannabis. Colorado is a state that requires approval of, and possession of a badge before even thinking about getting a marijuana job. However, D.C. wants workers to have received a job offer from a dispensary before applying for their version of a license.
Our team at ColoradoCannabisTours.com have each each written blogs on their respective locations, but this list is a work in process. We will continue to update it If you work in the cannabis industry in a medically legal state, and would like to help others get into the industry, send an email to [email protected]
District of Columbia
Staffing and Recruiting
Another option is scouring job boards for opportunities that interest you. Many companies prefer to leave the candidate search to someone else. You may be the perfect candidate for a job you’ve never thought of, or have the opportunity to apply with a start-up company that you wouldn’t know about until they come to the market. Check out the list below for staffing agencies that we know of.
THC Staffing Group
Ms Mary Staffing
The saying that it’s all about who you know is often very true. Socializing with others in the industry gives you the chance to build rapport and make nice with people that can help you break in. Below are some well-known networking organizations. Most require a membership fee:
Did We Miss Anything?
As mentioned above, this blog will be continually updated as we find resources and information on working in Cannabis. If you are looking for qualified candidates in the cannabis industry, let us know! Or if you work in a state that has legal cannabis and would like to offer up some inside tips, send an email to [email protected]