Thanks to legalization efforts around the country, the marijuana industry is booming, and cannabis-related jobs are following. Last month I wrote Need a Job? The Weed Industry is Hiring- Especially Women, which reported that industry experts expect 200,000 pot-related positions to be created in 2015 alone. Professional positions with big growth potential are emerging throughout the country, and WeedHire, a job posting site for the legal cannabis industry, currently lists 1,200 jobs from 800 companies.

I received dozens of emails asking for information on how to find one of these jobs - especially for those who don’t live in one of the 23 states where the substance is legal for medical or recreational (“adult” in industry parlance) use. For answers, I called Matthew Kind, a consultant to small cannabis businesses and those seeking a career in the industry, and host of CannaInsider, a podcast that features interviews with leaders in the sector.

What Is The No. 1 Tip You Have For People Trying To Get Into The Marijuana Industry?

The biggest problem I see from small business owners I talk to every day is that they are so busy they don’t have time to breathe. The industry and their businesses are growing so quickly, they know they need to hire new people but they don’t have time to sort through resumes. The key then becomes making your way to the top of that heap of resumes.

How Do You Do That?

This is still a very new industry and all of the businesses are startups. If you have been in business for three years that is considered a lot. The industry is still not mainstream; there is a bit of an X-factor. So there is a lot of room to be creative, there are not a lot of industry norms to be aware of. One thing I’ve seen be very successful is to create a video resume and email a link to the employer. Use a simple tool like Jing to record a 3-minute video of yourself. Provide your background, your qualifications, and why you are interested in the cannabis industry?

Do You Need Specific Job Skills Related To Cannabis To Break Into The Industry?

No. This industry requires so many professional and non-professional skills. Marketing, legal, design, sales, programming, accounting, medical, biology, chemistry and horticulture. If you can show that your skills are relevant to the employer, and you are interested in the industry, you stand a good chance.

Another way to stand out is to present a solution to a problem they don’t know they have. Like other busy entrepreneurs, many of these business leaders have a hummingbird mind — they are so busy staying on top of regulation, their plants, and the daily running of their businesses, they can’t focus on what they should do to grow.

If you have a finance background, you might approach a grower and ask if they know what the velocity of the flowers coming out of their greenhouse, or what their margins are, and suggest a way to improve theirs. Or, if you are in marketing, you might go to a retailer with a few tips on increasing foot traffic. This shows your insight into their industry, and immediately proves your value to their bottom line. Growers may not even know they could use a CFO or a marketing person, but the right resume or video can show them the value.

Do You Need To Be A Pot Smoker To Get A Job?

No. In fact, you should not mention your recreational smoking habits immediately. If you come at an employer with a wink-wink-nudge-nudge we both smoke weed attitude you will come off as really unprofessional. Unless the employer asks you about it, don’t mention it. Focus on what you can do for the business.

Does It Help If You Do Smoke Weed, Though?

For some positions, absolutely. For pot tender sales jobs at a dispensary, or if you are designing edibles, it is important to understand the effects of the different strains, and to know industry lingo. This isn’t true if you are in packaging design, law or a programmer, obviously.

Does It Actually Hurt Your Chances Of Getting A Cannabis Industry Job If You Don’t Smoke?

No. This is still a relatively small and warm group of people. There are a lot of people in the industry who have had traditional career paths and there is no stigma at all if you don’t consume.

What About People Who Don’t Have Professional Backgrounds? How Can They Break Into The Cannabis Industry?

Trimmers - people whose job it is to trim the marijuana buds from the stem - are always in high demand. It’s an entry-level position that can get you in the door, networking with others in the industry, and lead to opportunities.

Also, if you’re looking to break in, apply for a medical marijuana card. This essentially ensures that you are not a felon by way of background check. It’s more or less like a gun license, but for selling marijuana. If you have this card, your resume will automatically beat out half of those on the stack.

What About People Who Don’t Live In A State Where Marijuana Is Legal?

There are lots of opportunities in ancillary industries that don’t physically handle the product, and those can be done anywhere. These include package design and manufacture, software programmer, marketing, public relations and security consultants.

Regardless of where you live, there are ways to network in the cannabis industry. WomenGrow is a networking organization that connects cannabis entrepreneurs of both genders, and the National Marijuana Business Conference and Expo is a leading industry event, held twice per year. It is also helpful to join the legalization advocacy organization in your state. There is one in nearly every state.



News Moderator: Jacob Redmond 420 MAGAZINE ®
Full Article: Insider Tips on How to Get a Job in the Booming Weed Industry - Forbes
Author: Emma Johnson
Contact: corrections@forbes.com
Photo Credit: NBC News
Website: Information for the World's Business Leaders - Forbes.com