How to Legally Get a Job in Cannabis
Cannabis is no longer just a “hippie” drug or something that “the kids” do. The legalization of cannabis has turned it into a serious multi-million dollar industry that is only growing. Given that cannabis has already been in big business for several years, legalization fueled the demand as hash-hungry citizens are less afraid about getting caught provided that it is used at the right place and at the right time. While legal, there are still many restrictions about pot use but that hasn’t dampened the demand at all.
It’s not illegal to work in the industry. It’s a choice, but by no means is it illegal. The legal cannabis community is experiencing a gold rush, which means only good news for those who want to shift industries, change their career path and take a piece of the pie. So if you are ready to learn, then the cannabis industry is ready for you.
Here are a few restrictions you should also be aware of:
You must be a legal resident of the state in which the business is located. This may change eventually but as of now, many states require this. Unless you are hired as a virtual contractor, then you need to be a resident of the state to work in that state’s cannabis industry.
You will be disqualified if you have a felony conviction. Like with many other industries, you cannot have a criminal background.
So if you’re one of those who want to shift careers and work in the cannabis industry, here’s how you can start:
1. Focus. Just like any other career shift, your safest best is to focus on your strengths and work from there. So if you already have experience in sales and marketing, then you can apply it to similar jobs with cannabis companies. Cannabis businesses have needs just like any other typical businesses. That includes finance, administration, legal, human resources, digital marketing, and more.
An emerging market also is that of Cannabis tech companies, so those who have a background in engineering and IT also have equal opportunities.
2. Stand out, having a personal as well as professional knowledge and experience of pot will take you a long way. You may be asked about your own familiarity with marijuana and how it’s used. So if you want to take your career a step further, you should consider enrolling in a cannabis institute.
You’ll learn about things like terpenes, the endocannabinoid system, cannabinoids, various strains, how to grow pot, its effects on the body, and the legal side of the business. This can give you an edge when there are a number of applicants.
3. Professionalism. When you come in for an interview, follow the same rules as you would when applying to a corporate job in any other industry. Cannabis businesses, are looking for those individual who exemplify professionalism and dedication. It’s important that we drive our industry towards one that is more accepted, so having professionals that understand business and acceptable practices are key.
Although cannabis brands are more casual than others, do your homework on the company culture and those that are key players in it.
4. Get Involved. You can also begin volunteering for cannabis awareness and advocacy groups will make you more credible and trustworthy to a cannabis company. It’s like getting a free education into the industry. It will also showcase your passion and dedication to being a strong member of their team.
5. Research. Just because you may love smoking it, doesn’t mean that alone will give you the tools that you need to be successful in the industry. So show you’ve done your homework. A great place for research is attending a cannabis business seminar. Not only will you get to meet other business professionals, but you will have an idea on how to focus your business. Find one that best suits you.
Have a clear understanding that what you are doing is not illegal or for that manner “bad”. The community gets a bad rap and you have to be willing to explain why it shouldn’t. Think about your skills and what they can do to further promote the professional aspects of the fastest growing industry in America.