Cannabis is well on its way to being federally legal, and as legalization increases throughout the nation, so does the industry. If you’re interested in a cannabis career but not too keen on being a grower or dispensary owner, don’t worry. There are countless ways to incorporate your skills into the industry, especially as it continues to expand.
Cannabis Industry Niches to Begin Your Career In
The cannabis industry is growing by the minute, and there are plenty of opportunities for getting involved in an industry you’re truly passionate about. If you’re a cannabis connoisseur and you want to put your skills to use for the plant, here are a few of the nearly endless ways you can do so:
One of the most obvious ways to get involved with cannabis is to work at a dispensary. If you’re new to the cannabis community and looking to learn anything and everything about the plant, working at a dispensary is a great way to soak up all the information while making money.
Budtenders are expected to be fully knowledgeable on every product in their dispensary, so if you’re interested in working at one, you may want to do some research ahead of time and sample out different strains so you can make some recommendations when needed. However, you’ll learn enough on the spot to carry you throughout your career in cannabis.
Another great way to learn more about cannabis? By growing it! If you like to work outside and/or with your hands, becoming a cannabis harvester might be the best move for your career in cannabis.
Harvesting cannabis includes a variety of tasks like growing, trimming, and packaging. This is a pretty labor-intensive job, so be prepared to really put in work. However, the harvesting process is definitely a labor of love, and will teach you a lot about nurturing the plant.
Most dispensaries offer delivery services to customers, especially those who are medical cannabis patients. A delivery job is great for anyone who likes a good amount of freedom, diversity, and travel throughout the day.
If you have a car, this job is a great way to explore your surroundings while making money and, most importantly, bringing more weed into the world! You can also work delivery if you ride a bike–just keep in mind this will be a much more physically demanding route to take.
Are you passionate about weed with a background in law enforcement? Working security at a dispensary would be a great way for you to combine passion with skill.
A high level of security is necessary in all dispensaries and cannabis manufacturing areas, so there’s plenty of opportunity to get involved.
- Web Developer
If you work in web development, you’re well aware how versatile of an industry it is, and there’s definitely a high demand for developers in cannabis. Whether you’re working on a website for a dispensary, a cannabis brand, or a delivery app, you can easily find a way to throw your digital hat in the ring.
If you have a background in communications, web design, graphic design, or digital media, cannabis web development is a career path you should consider.
The marketing/public relations world is just as versatile as web development, especially as more and more of our daily lives are rendered to the Internet. If you have a background in marketing, public relations, copywriting, or anything in that arena, you’d be a major asset to the cannabis industry.
As the market continues to legalize, brands and dispensaries are continuing to pop up, and with those openings comes the need for publicization. Enter, you.
- Event Planning
Event planning is a stressful yet exciting career path, and there are tons of opportunities to bring your skills to cannabis. There are 420 festivals all over the nation, and as the industry expands, so does the need for more festivals, forums, expos, and more.
These are just a few ways to get involved, but if you have a skill, chances are it can be incorporated into the cannabis industry. Get creative, follow your passion, and see what works for you.
Top Tips for Getting Started
Now that you’re aware how much opportunity there is for you to utilize your skills within the cannabis industry, let’s talk about some of the top tips from industry experts when it comes to getting started:
- Be honest with yourself. What do you love to do more than anything else in the world? How can you apply that to the cannabis industry? What are your goals? Can you map out a tentative five-year plan for you working in cannabis?
Before you pursue a new industry that you may not know a lot about, you first need to turn to what you do know: you. Only you know what you like and what will truly make you happy, so make sure to be honest with yourself about your goals before you really start looking into things.
- Do some research. This tip can go hand in hand with the previous one. As you consider what you really want and what will make you happy, do some research into the industry, specifically the niche you want to pursue.
Are your peers in this niche happy? Is this niche’s workflow going to work for you and how you like to operate? If you have a specific company in mind, look into their mission and team values to make sure they align with what you want.
Sign up for newsletters, read books on the topic, or ask around to see if you can pick the brain of someone who works in the industry.
- Assess any possible risk. Although cannabis is making a significant amount of progress throughout the U.S., it’s still federally illegal, and depending on where you reside and what sort of job you want to pursue, a career in cannabis may be somewhat risky.
For example, if you’re a budtender working at an unlicensed dispensary, you constantly run the risk of getting in trouble. However, if you work in marketing and write on behalf of a cannabis brand operating out of a legal state, you have nothing to worry about.
- Attend as many cannabis events/seminars as you can. Research will give you a good idea of the industry, but nothing is quite as effective as in-person experience.
Just like any other industry, the cannabis industry has plenty of opportunities for education, networking, and more. Check for some events that look interesting to you. This will help expose you to the industry a little more and meet like-minded individuals who may have experience or insight that you’ll find helpful.
- Ask as many questions as possible. This is an evergreen statement that will apply to you whether you’re just dipping your toes into research, or at the cannabis industry job interview of your dreams.
It’s never too late to ask questions, and every question you have is worth voicing before you decide to commit. Even if you’ve decided on the niche you want to focus on, the company you’re interviewing to work for might not be a great fit for you. Be cautious every step of the way to ensure you’re exactly where you want to be.
- Network whenever you can. The benefit of attending cannabis events and seminars is exposing yourself to other people who work in the industry, which will be great for you in the long run.
Most industries rely more on networking than people are aware of, and cannabis is even more that way. Because of the industry’s underground origins, word-of-mouth, trust, and personal experience go a very long way in cannabis.
Maybe you’ve been applying to cannabis jobs for months with no success, but if you get out there in person and start familiarizing yourself on the ground, you’ll find yourself coming across much more opportunity.
- Learn the jargon. As silly as this may sound, the cannabis industry definitely has its own dictionary of terms that may be confusing to anyone on the outside. For example, if you know what cannabis concentrate is but have no idea what “sauce” means, you’ve got some studying to do!
However, you can scour Urban Dictionary all you want, but some things you’ll just have to pick up on the spot. Just be prepared to be confused sometimes, and again, never be afraid to ask questions!
- Lead with your passion. Anyone can work in cannabis as long as they’re qualified to do what they do, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that everyone working in the industry has true respect for the plant.
When interviewing for jobs in the industry, make sure to lead with what you’re passionate about: the plant, and the many healing benefits that come along with incorporating cannabis into your lifestyle. Industry leaders aren’t looking for qualifications alone–they’re also looking for someone who truly believes in the power and progress of cannabis.
Do you work in the cannabis industry and have some extra tips for getting started we may have missed? Let us know in the comments section below!
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