By: Vanessa Bermudez
It’s a multi-billion dollar industry – and it’s only just begun. The legal cannabis business is well on its way to creating a quarter of a million jobs by the year 2020, a new study from New Frontier Data reports.
Medicinal marijuana is now legal in twenty-nine states and the District of Columbia, while recreational purposes have been given the green light in eight of them. It’s legalities are overrun with blurred lines, but there’s a decent chance your state is on the brink of a booming industry that will only continue to grow more and more jobs.
It’s only natural that you’re curious about working in the world of marijuana if you’re one in 150 million Americans burning out at their 9-5 job. Don’t be afraid at the thought of taking a leap of faith and turning your career around. Millennials everywhere who seek out innovative opportunities are taking initiative in exploring what this booming industry has to offer.
Landing a job in any field takes time, but your jumpstart in the thrilling discoveries of medicinal cannabis doesn’t have to wait. Consider these tips if you’re serious about landing a role in the green business.
Do your research
In order to make a life-changing decision, an essential step is to ask yourself a few basic questions: why do you want to work in this field? What aspect of it are you passionate about? Do you know the difference between indica and sativa?
Just like any potential employer, the CEO of a cannabis company will know if you’re not in it for the right reasons. Do your research about the marijuana industry – as well as the plant itself – to get a feel of the in-and-outs of the growing business, as well as how your skills set could potentially benefit it. Recent studies from the Detroit Free Press show that budtenders are highly sought-after at the moment, as it is a position that requires quite a fair bit of expertise.
Doing some background checks on companies you’re interested in is an important step in order to land a job. Whether it’s a dispensary or a growing operation, make sure your morals and values coincide with those of the company. Putting in the prep work will not only make you feel prepared for the interview, but that much more prepared to take on anything the job might ask of you. There will always be a need to learn more as the industry grows. “Emerging studies are constantly proving the beneficial uses of CBD oil,” says Marc Lewis, Executive Editor of Remedy Review. “There are so many different products available, so you never run out of new things to learn.”
Focus on an area of expertise
Luckily for you, your decision comes with a multitude of positions to choose from, as the marijuana industry continues to create new opportunities. Cheat Sheet has a handy resource on sixteen jobs in the industry if you’re having trouble thinking of some, listing everything from edible creator to plant trimmer to everything else under the sun.
Finding what you’re passionate about is essential towards making any career change. The same applies to an industry where so many different hands are involved in the process. According to Derek Peterson, CEO of the cannabis company Terra Tech Corp, grow masters might be the most desired professionals in the industry. “It’s a pretty specific skill set,” he told Forbes, “and over time I expect the recreational marijuana will shape up with celebrity cultivators like celebrity chefs.”
Honing in on an area of expertise can also help narrow down your desired salary. Edible chefs can expect to earn anywhere from $50,000 to $100,000 a year, while even the most retail sales position – like dispensary store manager – can help you land upwards of $75,000. If you’re looking at a budtender position, you’re likely looking at commission, too.
Be ready to face competition
You’re not the only one thinking about dipping a toe into the growing cash pool of legal marijuana. With more and more reports of job growth within the industry skyrocketing, the business is expanding and the search for employment has only just begun. In fact, Marijuana Business Daily wrote in June that cannabis companies will soon “employ more people than there are dental hygienists and bakers in the United States and will soon surpass the number of telemarketers and pharmacists.”
In order to be qualified for a position in legal marijuana, many employers consider passion over experience. If you don’t have any experience in the industry, focus on your applicable skills and strengths to help you stand out in a pile of hopeful resumes.
Many of these jobs are, despite contrary belief, tricky to land due to their exclusivity. “They tend to be high-end, well-paid retail jobs,” says Tom Adams, editor-in-chief of cannabis investors ArcView, to CBS News. “The cannabis industry is the classic mom-and-pop scenario. It’s very labor intensive, and those mom-and-pop operators tend to pay very well to get people who are knowledgeable about cannabis and very good at interacting with a range of consumers.”
Info about the writer:
Vanessa Bermudez is a contributing writer for Remedy Review based in Brooklyn, New York. She is the co-founder and editor of Modern Girls, a collaborative digital space featured in Girl Gaze Project and Teen Vogue.