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How To Get A Job In The Cannabis Industry

by Staff

Many of us dream of paying the bills by doing something we love. If you’re passionate about cannabis, you can align yourself with that motto by getting a job in the cannabis industry. The legal cannabis and CBD industries are generating a vast amount of jobs, and now is the best time to make the transition. We are at a pivotal point in a thriving multi-billion-dollar worldwide industry that doesn’t seem to be slowing down one bit. Last year–in the U.S. alone–258,437 new cannabis/CBD jobs were created. And that beefy number is projected to increase to 743,196 in 2025, according to New Frontier Data.  

The industry is growing every day, and many professionals from various industries, including agriculture, consumer packaged goods, food and beverage, pharmaceutical, and retail are making moves to land a spot in the cannabis/CBD space. However, just like any other industry, as cannabis/CBD grows stronger, it also continues to become more competitive. CannabizTeam Executive Search and Staffing is here to give you some pointers on how to get a job in the cannabis industry. A passion for cannabis brought you here, so let’s take it a step further and arm you with the inside scoop and right mindset to make a successful transition. 

Don’t Wing It

Okay, so maybe you sold some marijuana in high school or college, but that doesn’t translate well to this professional, new industry. It might make for an entertaining anecdote to end an interview with, but nothing more. To get a job in the cannabis industry, you’ll need to be persistent and focused. Although marijuana is associated with relaxation and good vibes, that doesn’t mean the cannabis space isn’t filled with hardworking, driven professionals. You want to do your homework and come into the field with gusto. So, in short, don’t wing it! Now, where should you start?

Startup Mindset

The cannabis industry is young, so coming in with a startup mindset is pivotal to landing a job. But, what is a startup mindset? It means that you’re willing to adapt to an ever-changing space. Like in any new industry, uncertainty awaits. There are two ways of viewing it: as a lack of control or an opportunity to prevail in new and interesting ways. Practice the latter to make yourself an undeniable asset to any cannabis team. Be ready to adapt yourself to the ever-growing and changing cannabis business world, and you’ll be a step ahead of the game. Train your brain for the following:

  • Adjusting to quick changes in direction
  • Wearing multiple hats
  • Adapting to new rules (new state and federal rules, and restrictions on marijuana companies, seem to pop up all the time)
  • Creating innovative solutions 

Where Do You Fit In?

If you’re just starting to look into how to get a job in the cannabis industry, you’ll notice the difference in culture compared to traditional corporations. The legal marijuana space has counterculture roots, leading to more fun and relaxed vibes than other businesses. Before evaluating the cannabis space, you’ll want to analyze your skill set and experience. What field of the cannabis industry matches your background? From there, you can research the various areas of the marijuana space, and figure out which part makes the most sense for you to target. The industry has four primary sectors: cultivation, extraction, manufacturing, and retail. 

Next, you’ll want to tailor your resume and cover letter to the sector you’re focused on. And, as with any other job search, you’ll want to make yourself stand out from the pack. The accomplishments on your resume should be quantifiable, name-dropping is a plus, and everything should be scannable. You can even go above and beyond and sign up with Green Flower Media to take cannabis courses online where you can elevate your understanding of the industry. You can choose from a variety of certificate programs that will provide you with the knowledge, skills, and credibility you need to succeed in cannabis, including cannabis fundamentals, medical, and cultivation certifications. Find where you fit in, and be tenacious in your pursuit to get a job in cannabis.

Network With Cannabis Insiders

Keeping a finger on the pulse of the industry is always a good look. But taking it a step further and socializing with cannabis professionals is even better. Utilize social media and check for local cannabis networking events you can attend. You’re dealing with younger enterprises, so they’re more active on social media than bigger, older companies. If you want to go the extra mile to get a job in cannabis, attend one of the three heavy-hitter cannabis conferences:

  1. Cannabis World Congress & Business Expo (Los Angeles and Boston)
  2. NCIA California Business Expo (Anaheim)
  3. Marijuana Business Daily’s Trade Show (Las Vegas)

While you’re at these events, soak everything up and ask questions. The freebies are great, but one of your main goals on your journey to get a job in cannabis is to learn about the industry as much as possible and see how your skills can be beneficial within the space. The other is to converse with the head honchos of cannabis companies. This will help you learn about how they operate, what they’re looking for, and how they plan on growing their businesses. Create a plan for the conference or event, so your time is spent purposefully. Here are a few tips for networking at an event:

  • Create an elevator pitch—answer the following: What do you do? Why are you attending? What is your relative experience?
  • Have business cards ready to distribute—they still get the job done 
  • Take notes on your phone or bring a memo book
  • Express your interest in what others are doing and ask questions 

Find The Right Staffing Firm 

Leaving a standard organization to venture into fresh new territory can be difficult. You’ll want every advantage possible to land a job in the legal cannabis world. So, utilizing the help of a staffing firm is a no-brainer when you want to get a job in the cannabis industry.

However, not every staffing firm is the same. Ideally, you’ll want to use a staffing firm that caters exclusively to the cannabis industry. Shop around and find a recruiting firm that’s right for you. Analyze how they interact with you and how in-depth they are in understanding your needs. The last thing you want is a recruiter that plays matchmaker based on your resume alone. 

This article was originally published by CannabizTeam.

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