With medical marijuana now legal in well over half of the U.S. and marijuana staffing plan use allowed in nine states (and counting), cannabis companies are rushing to fill a rush of new jobs in the business-an estimated 340,000 of them nationwide by 2020.
Contemplating a profession change? Think about this: In older, more established businesses, you could have noticed, a lack of industry-specific experience can land your resume in the circular file pretty quickly. Not too within the marijuana trade, a business growing so quickly that “there just aren’t enough people with direct experience, so we need to bring folks from the outside,” says Karson Humiston, founder and CEO of cannabis recruiters Vangst in Denver. “We have no choice.”
Moreover, since the cannabis industry gets bigger, the types of talent employers want is beginning to change. “A shrinking percentage of newly created jobs now require you to deal directly with all the [marijuana] plant,” notes Morgan Fox, a spokesman for your 1,500-member trade group National Cannabis Industry Association. “Finance managers, marketing and branding experts, HR professionals-cannabis companies are hiring people with the exact same backgrounds just like any other business.”
How do you get in on all of this growth? Here are four methods for getting employment in the cannabis industry:
It’s worth speaking to marijuana-industry recruiters. Two that were round the longest (since 2015 and 2014, respectively) are Vangst and San Francisco-based THC Staffing Group. However that, as marijuana legalization spreads, all kinds of job boards along with other help-wanted venues now post cannabis companies’ job openings, too. “We do post on job boards, and we come with an active employee-referral program,” says Christine Hodgdon, who was v . p . of human resources in a Denver-area oil-and-gas wgmgti before Vangst tapped her this past year on her current role as HR chief at Native Roots Colorado. “We also hire some walk-ins-people who just enter into one of our dispensaries and inquire how to apply.”
Much more than in most other fields, constructing a network of relationships with cannabis industry insiders helps, and the quantity of local and regional networking events, easily Googled, is proliferating. Beyond that, experts recommend enrolling, if at all possible, to at least one of four big cannabis conferences, all coming up soon: Cannabis World Congress & Business Expo in La in September and then in Boston per month later; the NCIA California Business Expo in Anaheim in October; and the Marijuana Business Daily‘s trade event in Vegas in November. Can’t break free to attend these? “If you follow specific cannabis companies on social networking, you’ll often find job postings and networking events popping up,” says Christine Hodgdon. “Maybe because these are young enterprises, they are generally far more active online than many bigger, more established businesses.”