How to Get a Job in the Cannabis Industry

How to Get a Job in the Cannabis Industry

Are you interested in working in the cannabis industry and not sure where to start? We’re here to help! Read on to learn about the growing industry, cannabis job resources, and tips—including what knowledge and roles are in demand—to help you get involved in this exciting and expanding industry.

And while it’s still a new industry, there’s one thing to know from the get-go. It's best not to assume that you can get high before or on the job just because you work for a cannabis company. This typically violates a company’s policies and can result in penalties including dismissal.

Cannabis Jobs Outlook

Job seekers eyeing a career path in cannabis can feel secure with the industry being deemed “essential” and with solid job growth despite the pandemic. There were more than 77,300 jobs added in the U.S. from 2020 to 2021 for a total of 321,000 legal cannabis jobs as of January 2021!

And even though there were job layoffs by cannabis companies in 2020, the outlook for employment in cannabis in 2021 is strong. It is estimated that between 2020 and 2024, the industry will add nearly 250,000 full-time jobs. In the five states that recently legalized cannabis medically or recreationally, up to 26,000 jobs will be created by 2025.

Cannabis Job Resources

While it’s important to leverage and showcase your existing skills and experience, there is knowledge specific to the cannabis industry that can give you an edge. That said, there are some excellent cannabis education resources, social networking sites, and recruiting companies that can help you get that edge and network with companies who are hiring.

Recruiting Agencies

Companies that offer recruiting and staffing for the cannabis industry work with cannabis companies to find top talent and help individuals find cannabis jobs. This means you can sign up on their websites and create profiles to showcase your skills, experience, and education, and apply for jobs they have listed.

Here are a few cannabis recruiting and staffing agencies:

Some agencies like Vangst host job fairs, most are virtual these days, so be sure to attend to ask questions and network with companies who are hiring.

Social Networking

Many cannabis companies and job recruiters post open jobs on networking sites like LinkedIn and Indeed. So it’s a good idea to sign up on those sites, set up notifications for jobs at companies you want to work for, and make sure your profile is polished and up to date.

Also, LinkedIn Learning has great resources for honing your resume, cover letters, and job interview skills or to learn new job-related skills. It’s also a good idea to pay attention to your existing professional connections on networking sites and make new connections so you can find job opportunities or follow up on jobs directly.

There are also cannabis social networking sites like MJLink or Leafwire that may be a useful way to find cannabis jobs, gain cannabis knowledge, and network with potential employers.

Cannabis Education

You may need to level up your job skills and cannabis knowledge so recruiters and companies see you as a good candidate, especially if you’ve never worked in the industry before.

Educating yourself on compliance in the industry, as well as knowledge of the cannabis plant and its uses, methods of consumption, and products are all key. Cannabis education companies like Green Flower Media, The Cannabis Industry Institute, or Your Higher Learning offer online or in-person cannabis-specific courses, certifications, and free webinars and blogs.

Because the cannabis job market can be competitive, it's also essential to educate yourself on a job and company before an interview. So researching the company, understanding the job role, practicing interview questions, dressing for the role, and being authentic are great ways to prepare for a cannabis job interview.

What Jobs Are In Demand?

Legal cannabis businesses including seed-to-sale, B2B ancillary, and multi-state operators are hiring right now. Some of the top jobs in demand this year are general manager, compliance/infrastructure operations, human resources, cultivation, and retail. Some specific job roles include cultivation technicians, trimmers, and budtenders.

Since the pandemic, many companies are investing in and expanding their digital spaces so jobs in IT and marketing in cannabis are opening up. Whatever field you’ve been in, there is likely an equivalent role in the cannabis industry.

Other Cannabis Job Tips

  • If you are eyeing a specific cannabis company to work at consider browsing their website for open jobs. Sometimes companies post jobs on their website and respond faster to applicants who apply directly on their site. As an example, LivWell has a Cannabis Careers web page (feel free to explore!).
  • Be ready to demonstrate how your current skills are transferable to the role you are applying for, especially if you come from a different industry. For example, your customer service, people management, or writing skills.
  • If you haven’t worked in the industry before, you may want to apply to get your MED employee badge (for Colorado), which is required and comes with a fee and background check. Getting it in advance shows you are serious and ready to start.
  • Companies may appreciate it if you are a part of cannabis associations or cannabis advocacy organizations. That may be a good way to get your foot in the door so be sure to highlight your membership at those associations or volunteer work on your resume.

Good luck and we hope these resources and tips help you land your dream job in the cannabis industry!

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