As the legitimized cannabis business expands across the nation, those interested in establishing fruitful careers in this rapidly growing industry are faced with a number of challenges. These trials exist largely because, as more states legalize both medical and recreational cannabis use, industry frontrunners scramble to establish themselves amidst a wash of fluctuating legislations. However, there are a few important qualities that candidates can utilize in acquiring employment in the legitimized cannabis world.
1. The Ability to Navigate Between “Two Worlds”
More often than not, those parties interested in working in the legitimate cannabis industry have their roots in the underground realm of the black market. As a result, it is essential that candidates “speak the languages” of both the underground culture of traditional cannabis growing and the “real business world.” With a balanced mix of cannabis grow culture and a sound business intellect, candidates will be a perfect fit for the legitimized corporate culture of cannabis.
2. Entrepreneurial Spirit
While new cannabis markets emerge with novel legislation, it takes an enterprising mind to intelligently approach employment in the industry. To illustrate, if a candidate is interested in acquiring a management position at a cannabis dispensary, he or she will surely impress owners if they go to an interview with pre-formulated ideas. These entrepreneurially minded ideas could include menu specials designed for specific geographic areas, seasonality, and demographics. This entrepreneurial spirit will help ensure an enduring advantage for dispensary owners in a new marketplace.
3. Professional Versatility
Professional versatility is an essential quality in candidates of the cannabis business for several reasons. To begin with, all supervisors are extremely impressed by employees who are able to “wear a number of different hats” within the workplace. If a candidate wants to make himself or herself an asset, they should be prepared to learn as much as they can. Secondly, the unpredictable legal nature of the cannabis business requires both business owners and employees to adapt to changes in the industry. Finally, when moving from a traditional home-based grow operation to a legitimate cannabis business model, it may be difficult to shed the perspective of doing things only your way. Therefore, businesses today demand not only versatile employees, but also employees who have a grasp on team work, fair play, and sacrifice within the workplace. Employees making the shift to the legitimized cannabis world must display solid business ethics, as well as the willingness to take on a variety of roles which might not always appear glamorous.
4. Ability to Translate Underground Experience on a Resume
This notion is entwined with the idea of moving from a home-based, underground business into the legitimate cannabis industry. As candidates attempt to make this challenging move, they often have trouble translating their experience into resume format. Within this scenario, candidates should structure their resumes in a fashion which highlights applicable skills for the cannabis business. For example, if a candidate has experience growing organically in industrial greenhouse scenarios, he or she should make a list of these skills before constructing a resume. After that, they should highlight these previously unmarketable skills on the top of their resume. The crux of this situation is, these resumes will often highlight “skills and knowledge” more predominantly than traditional “real world” work experience and education.
Finally, when attempting to find work within the cannabis industry, it takes a creative mind to adapt one’s skill sets for the business. It’s essential that individuals “think outside the box” when translating one’s previous skills into a brand new business model. To elaborate, pizza delivery drivers in a certain area could easily transfer their skills to a dispensary delivery service. Even more, sales representatives from the food and beverage industry would make great sales representatives for nutrient lines. Lastly, managerial experience is always in demand and leadership skills are always an asset.