With medical marijuana now legal in well over one half of the U.S. and cannabis staffing plan use allowed in nine states (and counting), cannabis companies are scrambling to fill a rush of new jobs in the market-an estimated 340,000 of them nationwide by 2020.
Contemplating a career change? Consider this: In older, more established businesses, you could have noticed, too little industry-specific experience can land your resume in the circular file pretty quickly. Not in the marijuana trade, a business growing so fast that “there just aren’t enough people who have direct experience, so we must bring individuals from the outside,” says Karson Humiston, founder and CEO of cannabis recruiters Vangst in Denver. “We do not have 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 that 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 as any other business.”
How do you get in on this growth? Here are four ways to get a job within the cannabis industry:
It’s worth speaking with marijuana-industry recruiters. Two which have been across the longest (since 2015 and 2014, respectively) are Vangst and San Francisco-based THC Staffing Group. However that, as marijuana legalization spreads, all sorts of job boards and other help-wanted venues now post cannabis companies’ job openings, too. “We do post on job boards, and we provide an active employee-referral program,” says Christine Hodgdon, who has been v . p . of human resources in a Denver-area oil-and-gas wgmgti before Vangst tapped her this past year on her behalf current role as HR chief at Native Roots Colorado. “We also hire some walk-ins-people who just enter in to our dispensaries and inquire how you can apply.”
A lot more when compared to 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 signing up, when possible, to at least one of four big cannabis conferences, all coming up soon: Cannabis World Congress & Business Expo in La in September and in Boston per month later; the NCIA California Business Expo in Anaheim in October; and the Marijuana Business Daily‘s trade exhibition in Las Vegas in November. Can’t get away to attend any one of these? “If you follow specific cannabis companies on social networking, you’ll often find job postings and networking events showing up,” says Christine Hodgdon. “Maybe because these are all young enterprises, they are generally far more active online than many bigger, more established businesses.”