The legal cannabis market is becoming the fastest-growing industry in the largest economy in the world. Many states have had their industry more than double despite their program having already existed for several years.
The rapid growth means there is, or soon will be, a place for you this industry, and your first job is to keep looking until you find it. Be ready to meet a ton of new people full of passion and exciting ideas.
Start with Self-Awareness. Before applying for a single position, you need to consider a few questions:
What are you talented at?
What are your goals?
What inspires you?
Unleash your brain’s creativity and explore your deepest thoughts with activities like journaling or mind mapping. Dig deep and consider where your talents may be best used. Start getting curious. What unique perspective or contribution can you bring to this industry? Think outside of the box.
Do some research
Is there a cannabis business you would love to work for? Visit their website, see what you can find on Google – explore as much as you can. Learn more about the company’s team, mission, and values. No two businesses are exactly alike. The more you know about a company’s current needs and challenges, the more you can understand how you might come in and add value instead of simply asking for a job.
Suggested research tactics include:
Sign up for every cannabis industry website, blog, newsletter, and mailing list you can
Purchase and read books by well-known industry authors like Ed Rosenthal or Jorge Cervantes
Research books that are on the curriculum or recommended reading list of cannabis universities, colleges, and certification companies.
Ask your friends or anyone you know in the industry what books they’ve read or industry websites they visit
If you can afford it, attend and network at major cannabis industry conferences
Attend Industry Events
Events are a great way to connect and find opportunities to get involved.
Cannabis is a relatively tight-knit community, and industry born out of activism. People in this space have banded together to combat local, state, federal, and international restrictions. Their hard work has laid the foundation of this industry.
However, that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for newcomers! There are numerous cannabis-based operations seeking outside talent. A genuine sense of curiosity and a passion for this plant can take you far. Meet the faces behind the companies. Get to know them and hear their stories. Above all, be present and get active in the cannabis community. Show that you actually want to make a positive contribution in this space. Joining this industry isn’t just about finding a job; it’s about making a difference.
Volunteer Your Time
Volunteering is a great way to put your talents to work. It also demonstrates to potential employers your passion and commitment to this plant. Remember it’s not about getting a new job at coming in and adding value!
Investing your time as a volunteer can establish trust. After all, even if you don’t have experience working in a cannabis company, volunteering for an advocacy group can help you get your foot in the door. A few hours of your time can have a huge impact.
Search Online Job Boards
Did you know you can find employment opportunities in the cannabis industry using online job boards like Monster and Indeed? Sure, every job isn’t posted online.
Leave the location blank in your search to find opportunities nationwide. Or, use a cannabis job board to narrow down your search. While many positions will be listed in multiple locations, it’s wise to explore more than one outlet. In addition, don’t forget to do some homework on your potential employer. If it seems too good to be true it might be. Look for any red flags and trust your instincts.
Use a Cannabis Staffing Agency
Using an online job board is a great starting point if you’re considering entering the cannabis industry. But it’s also worth mentioning cannabis staffing agencies. Solely catering to cannabis businesses, using a staffing agency can help you identify relevant and current opportunities. These agencies specialize in matching the right candidates with the right employers, which can save you time in your job search. So, is it the right move for you? Ultimately that is your call to make. If you’re someone who would like some assistance, a staffing agency may be perfect. But if you’re someone who tends to be a self-starter, it may not be worth your while. It’s all about finding what works for you. There is no single “perfect” way to enter this industry.
Leverage Virtual Networks
Join the conversation online, share valuable content, and ask great questions!
Worried that your location will limit your job search? Although living in a place where cannabis is legal will obviously allow you to pursue more employment opportunities – cannabis is global.
Regardless of your current zip code, you can begin interacting with this community. Virtual networks like Facebook, LinkedIn, or Instagram are a fantastic way to begin making connections. A simple hello or thoughtful message can lead to a long-term relationship over time. The more you immerse yourself in the cannabis world, the more you’ll understand how you can find your niche.
Frame Your Experience
The future of cannabis relies on many different skill sets. We each have something unique to bring to the table. Instead of worrying about what you don’t have, focus on what you do.
For example, have you worked in accounting for the last 20 years? Great! Maybe you can help a cannabis company with their taxes. Experienced in graphic design? Perfect, you could specialize in designing logos for cannabis businesses. Whatever your passions are, find a way to apply them to cannabis.
If you want to be successful, let go of your fear of failure and start taking action. No one is perfect. All of us are going to make mistakes. So take risks, be vulnerable, and ask questions. Figure out how you can use the tools and resources available to engage in meaningful action. Keep a daily to-do list and follow through. We all are learning and growing with this plant. Amazing opportunities in the cannabis world are here for the taking. It is up to you to act on them.
Know “The Mission”
When applying to work for a cannabis business, understanding the company’s mission should be your #1 research priority. Make sure you talk about the mission with everyone who interviews you. As potential team members, the mission is your shared goal and the thing connecting everyone together. Show you care about what the company is doing. Find ways to talk about how you are personally impacted by the their mission and how you want to help further it and the people who support it.
Ask the Right Questions
Not thinking to ask questions about the company you’re hoping to join and the role you want to have shows a complete lack of interest or creativity. Besides, you’re asking everyone about their personal take on their company mission, so you should be going into the interview with an inquisitive mindset. You should be intentionally asking the same questions to different employees throughout the course of your interview. Use your questions as a way to test your interviewers to see if they’re all on the same page. If different people have wildly different answers, especially about the company mission or your day-to-day responsibilities, it’s a telling indication of the type of problems you may run into should you accept the position.
Examples of some good questions to ask:
- “If you were the one getting hired for this role, what is one area you would personally focus on improving?”
- “What is something this company has done that you are proud of?”
- “If you could take one rule from another state and have it apply here, what would it be?”
Immersing yourself in cannabis culture is one of the most important things you can do to find your place in this industry. Get to know the faces behind the companies. You may even make some friends for life.
Many job opportunities in the cannabis industry are from word of mouth and personal contact. Expose yourself to the culture and people – it may just change your life.