How To Get A Job in the Cannabis Industry

You can take several different routes to get a job in the cannabis industry. One way is to go the more traditional route with a great cover letter, resume, and credentials, such as a license required by your state. However, there are also less traditional ways to find a position.

Do some research

One of the best ways to start if you’re serious about getting into the cannabis industry is to do some research. Go to cannabis industry websites, read books and even attend cannabis industry conferences if you can. Immerse yourself in the industry and ask those you know already working in it where they go to find out what they want to know. Try to identify organizations whose goals you believe in and would be proud to stand behind.

Get certified

One way to stand out is to get certified. There are many training schools which offer certificates. Some of these schools have a better reputation than others. Only a few online education options exist.  

Leverage social media

Establish yourself on social media and reach out to those companies you’ve identified you would like to work for to inquire about jobs.  Remember, there’s a fine line between following up and being a nuisance. For job seekers, networking is extremely important. This is the way to learn about those jobs that don’t appear on public job sites.

Leverage past experience

If you have little to no cannabis industry experience, know your strengths and use the experience you do have. The cannabis industry needs people with experience in many different areas who can translate that experience into the cannabis industry.

Some of the experienced professionals the industry needs are engineers, marketers, scientists, IT specialists, botanists, horticulturists, and accountants.  Professionals who would not have thought about joining the industry a few years ago are leaving behind their traditional careers.

Search job sites

Go to job sites like LinkedIn, Simply Hired, ZipRecruiter and many others. Simply type in ‘cannabis’ and the type of job you are looking for. Today there are also many cannabis-specific job sites you can visit too, such as Cannajobs and Vangsters.

Cold emailing of companies is another approach. You research your targets and pitch them in an email. This short, custom email will give them an idea of what you can offer them.

Consider states where laws have changed

The total number of cannabis industry jobs is rising yearly. Currently, a number of cities and states in the United States where laws have changed are seeking employees. Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Jose and Santa Barbara in California are hotbeds of activity.  Miami and Tallahassee as well as Denver, Seattle, Portland and Las Vegas are looking for everything from budtenders to executives.

Consider qualities employers want

Two qualities important for future employees are flexibility and malleability. The nature of jobs are switching all the time because the market is like a huge startup. There isn’t much time for a learning curve and yet education yourself is important. You have to demonstrate an understanding the cannabis industry if you want to be respected.  

One of the most important factors to consider when hiring someone is how they will fit into the team. If you’re not aligned with the culture of the company and its values, you’re not likely to be hired. You need to keep looking until you find a place where you do fit.

Being a self-starter is another important quality. For instance, if you feel that the packaging of a particular product is not effective, you could suggest going for custom cannabis packaging.

Prepare for the interview

When thinking about the interview, remember that the industry is in the process of breaking stigmas. The entire world is watching, and you need to be mindful of your attitude and personal appearance.

Find out before going for an interview what type of clothing is appropriate. Sometimes stoner culture clothing may be appropriate, but you may also be expected to wear a suit.

When you get an interview, you need to think about what questions you would like to ask and the role you see yourself playing in the company.  Express your passion and your reason for wanting to get involved in the industry.

In an interview, you also need to be mindful of the words you use and the jokes you make. Rather call it cannabis than weed or any other name. Show that you understand the process towards compliance.

It is not essential to consume cannabis to work in the industry, but you should be ready to articulate your personal relationship with it in an interview.

What to Expect Working in Cannabis

Working in the industry is not without its complications. It is still illegal on a federal level which causes lingering concerns about federal raids and limits access to finances. Some traditional employers would still raise an eyebrow at a job in the cannabis industry on a resume. This is likely to improve as the industry becomes more mainstream.

You may have some unrealistic expectations when you first start working in the cannabis industry. You may think, for example, that the owners are the richest people in the world who flash their assets and that your fellow employees won’t be particularly professional. The truth is that the industry is full of very motivated, professional people and owners tend to put their money back into their business rather than splashing it around.

You may also expect not to have to work too hard. This is definitely a misconception, and you can expect long hours and hard work. What makes it worthwhile is that it has a purpose. It is an exciting career with its innovative aspects and the feeling that you’re changing the world.

Right now is the time to get involved in the cannabis industry. You will win in the industry if you are a self-starter, ready to present new ideas, accept challenges and work on improvements. You need to be humble, ready to work hard and happy to be part of an organization that’s bringing about change.

This multi-million dollar industry has been built on the premise that cannabis is good and that it has some amazing health benefits. If you’re simply looking to make money and don’t really believe in the plant and what it can do, another industry may be a better fit for you.

Green Rush Packaging is one of the companies employing people in the cannabis industry. We are a nationwide leader in dispensary packaging, offering items such as cannabis concentrate packaging as well as wholesale cannabis containers.


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