The cannabis industry is on fire—in a good way. Historically, as you know, it’s been a total rollercoaster. While no one expects the ride to smooth out any time soon, there’s a confident consensus that opportunities within this market will only continue to increase. 

Agriculture… Chemistry… Finance… Marketing… Customer Relations… whatever field you’re drawn to, chances are there’s a cannabis-related job to match. These employment ops are cropping up daily, ranging from entry-level to experienced. And, given this variety of career paths and skill levels, it’s no surprise that the pro-cannabis population wants in on the action. Do you?

If you’re trying to get your foot in the dispensary door (or grow room, or corporate HQ…), it’s a good idea to do a little homework. Here are some initial points to consider, followed by a few tips for when you do score that interview.

Career considerations

#1: Consider your attitude towards cannabis Your attitude towards cannabis—and how you express that attitude—is extremely important when contemplating a career in the legal cannabis space. Employees in this industry are proponents of cannabis, and they support its lawful accessibility. While you need not be a cannabis consumer or patient to work within the industry, respect for the plant —and for the people who choose to incorporate it into their lives—is essential. In short, your career choice should come from a place of passion, not pocket. 

#2: Consider your eligibility Before you go on an application spree, match up your qualifications to the job/field you’re exploring. As in any industry, some jobs require previous work experience and/or related education. Have something other than a diploma on your record? Check your state laws to see if convictions hinder employment, if applicable. Also note that certain states will require a drug screen for those seeking to work with cannabis-affiliated companies… just so you’re aware!

#3: Consider the nature of the industry With the right attitude, and the right experience, you’re ⅔ of the way there in being a prime cannabis industry candidate. But, what type of worker are you? 

This industry has no “off-switch.”  The pace is fast and furious, and the answers aren’t always there. By the time you learn of a new breakthrough or change, it may have already changed again. Some people hear this and turn in the other direction. Others roll up their sleeves and get right into it. Self-starting, nimble professionals with a penchant for action do well in this space. If you’re comfortable with calculated risk-taking, yet you know how to avoid being too risky, a cannabis career just might be your sweet spot.

Interviewing Insights

Okay, so you’ve applied, and you’ve gotten a call-back! High-fives all around. From here, all interactions are important. Here are three tips to keep top-of-mind for your first interview.

#1: Interview yourself first If someone began an interview with a question like “Why do you want this job?” or, “Tell me about yourself?” would you be able to answer? Open-ended inquiries like these that can naturally send anyone for a loop. Suggestion: Confront these questions, and answer them out loud. The more you practice talking about yourself, the more likely you’ll be to say the things you actually want to share come interview time. While this is important for any interview, its especially so in the cannabis field, because…

#2: Sharing is great. Oversharing is not. Once you share TMI, you can’t go back. Maybe you’re a patient with an emotional connection to cannabis. Maybe you have an incredible story about your first experience with plant medicine. Maybe you have a knack for terpene and food pairings. Whatever the case may be, carefully wager the pros and cons of sharing personal details. Of course, you may have some great anecdotes that are applicable to the conversation. The key is to keep it relevant—with no regrets.

#3: Focus on strengths beyond cannabis In this “new” industry of cannabis, there’s a scramble for a spot on the bandwagon. While cannabis is the subject; YOU provide the action. An understanding of the plant and its infinite varietals, and knowledge or experience of its effects on the body can indeed be useful. But, so can interpersonal skills, strong problem-solving skills, an eye for design… you get the picture. What can you bring to the table? Be sure to make that clear when you chat with your dream job’s hiring manager.

It’s a great time for anyone who is interested (and qualified) to join the excitement of the cannabis industry. And honestly, “excitement” is a bit of an understatement. It’s truly a changing landscape of rules and regulations, balanced out by the rewarding and revolutionary experience of shifting the plant’s stigma out of the darkness and into a dazzling ray of light. Insert air-punch!


Feeling primed to explore your next cannabis career move?

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