A recent study from New Frontier Data reports that the legal marijuana business is on the brink of adding a quarter of a million jobs by the year 2020, widely surpassing government and factory positions in a way no one saw coming.
If you’ve been thinking about making a career change to the world of cannabis, the time is now.
In 1996, California became the first U.S. state to legalize medical marijuana. In the 22 years that have passed, the plant is now medically legal in twenty-nine states as well as the District of Columbia, with recreational laws in place in eight of them.
Despite its complicated legalities, consistent research from some of the nation’s highest experts has proved marijuana’s medicinal benefits and given way to an entirely untapped market that’s overflowing with innovative career opportunities.
Kelly Embry, head of Network Growth at Eyechronic TV, gave FHM some insight on what it is like working in the business.
“The coolest part of my job is watching the people in this industry work so hard to build an industry from the ground up.Providing an incredible product to cannabis retailers for free gives me a unique view of the businesses of hundreds of partners across the nation. Nothing beats being a part of this beautiful, green revolution that is re-educating the masses and unearthing the truth about the benefits of a simple plant demonized for far too long.”
Over 85% of workers worldwide hate their jobs, according to a recent poll by Gallup. There’s little to no use in staying in a dead-end job when there are so many emerging opportunities.
If you’ve been contemplating a career in legal marijuana, consider a few of these questions to help you get a head start in landing your dream job.
Why Legal Marijuana?
Making a change in your career is a significant power move that no one else can do for you. Consider why you’re feeling pulled towards working in the legal cannabis business and how that decision could help you achieve your professional ambitions.
Doing your research on the current market is an essential step before leaping into the unknown. No matter what you do, do it with intent, and you will surely find happiness in your career.
“What makes this job cool is that in addition to the normal legal work of helping clients build and run their businesses, we are also simultaneously contributing to the establishment and growth of an entirely new industry in America: legalized cannabis,” says Mitchell Kulick, founder of Cannabis Practice at Feuerstein Kulick LLP. “As a result, the spirit of competition infuses the industry. That is truly special and rare in the normal dog-eat-dog world in which most lawyers operate.”
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.
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.”
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. That will 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.”
What if You Have No Experience?
Don’t be overwhelmed at the thought of exploring a new field in which you have little experience. Luckily, as it is a relatively young industry. As a result, many entry-level positions offer accessible ways to climb up the ladder.
Most enterprises encourage and are fueled by inner-company growth. “It’s so new, it’s like you’re working in dog years,” says Kyle Arfsten, Vangst’s head of business development. “If you have one year of experience, that counts for a lot.”
Adapt your resume to follow a more functional format, focusing less on employment history and more on personal skills and strengths. Potential employers look for this drive to prove oneself in unknown territory. Taking that chance will allow you to stand out in the eyes of cannabis companies.
Even the most basic introduction to the legal marijuana business could land you a six-figure job.
Edible chefs can earn an annual paycheck of anywhere from $50,000 to $100,000, with dispensary owners capable of surpassing that.
A cannabis sales representative earns an average wage of $12 to $15 an hour. There is also the added possibility of a commission, like other retail positions.
These positions are exceedingly desired and sought after, so don’t expect to receive a high offer right away. However, as is true of many entry-level jobs, you can give it your all and climb the ladder of success in no time.
How Do You Prepare for an Interview with the CEO?
Congratulations, you’ve landed an interview with a potential employer in the cannabis business.
Demonstrate your knowledge of the company’s core goals and values while keeping perspective of the current legal marijuana market.
Show them that you’ve got what it takes to succeed and you’re ready to bring it to the table.
According to the Cannabis Training Institute, “The most important traits for cannabis industry workers to have are professionalism, passion, and dedication. We’re in the process of breaking stigmas, so be extremely mindful of your demeanor and personal appearance.”
This means keeping the tie-dye at home. Opt instead for a professional look reflective of the corporate environment.
Landing a job in the cannabis industry can be trickier than it looks.
However, if you play your cards right, you’ll find yourself in a career that’s always evolving. “There is not another multi-billion-dollar market growing at this rate anywhere in the world. Opportunities like this are rare. To be a part of something that has been stigmatized for so long, while also helping to remove the negative connotations around cannabis is special,” says Matt Singer, CEO of tökr. “Cannabis is helping so many people, for a range of reasons. It’s rewarding to help people discover safe products that can dramatically improve their lives.”