How to Get Hired in a Newly Legalized Cannabis Market

Pro-cannabis legislation has been passing at a heightened rate over the past few years as public opinion on legalization has shifted. In 2020 alone, five states passed legislation to legalize medical or recreational cannabis sales. And even though we are only a few months into 2021, New York has already passed legalization measures for the state to begin its recreational operations. These wins for the cannabis industry are a great sign of things to come, especially for those interested in working in cannabusiness.

With legalization comes new jobs, and there are plenty of opportunities for interested individuals. If you’re in a newly legalized state or want to take advantage of cannabis jobs in your area, here are our tips on transitioning to a role within this growing market.

Understand Your State’s Laws

If you are considering a career in cannabis, you likely already know your state’s legalization status. However, each state has its variations. Some states allow only medical cannabis sales, and some states sell medical and recreational cannabis, some states only allow CBD, there are also combinations of the above, and, in some states, cannabis products are entirely outlawed. The good news is that the majority of states have now legalized, at minimum, medical cannabis.

While many states have passed legislation around the legalization of cannabis, with five states passing cannabis laws just last year, each state is different. Make sure you know the legalities surrounding cannabis in your specific state. Once you have done your research on your state’s cannabis laws, you can start researching cannabis companies in your area that you’d be interested in working for.

Find Where You Fit

There are hundreds of thousands of full-time jobs within cannabis, and not every job will be plant-facing. Many ancillary businesses deal with cannabis indirectly. In many cases, you can work in cannabis without ever coming face-to-face with the plant. There are many different verticals to explore in both cannabis-facing and ancillary cannabis businesses, and these opportunities are growing.

Since many roles within cannabis are ancillary, you can likely work in a position similar to a traditional job you have held previously. Look into roles that fit your current experience before branching out to other areas. The most important thing is that you bring added value to your position, so consider how you could positively impact the companies you are looking at based on your experience and skills. It’s also good to note that cannabis is a new and rapidly growing industry, so likely, any position you choose will be fast-paced and need you to be a self-starter.

Finding the right cannabis path for you will come down to a few factors, including your experience, hard and soft skills, and plant knowledge. Luckily if you don’t have cannabis plant knowledge already, there are courses you can take to understand the basics and get a leg up on the competition. If you have previous work experience that will transfer to your new role, make sure you translate those skills to the roles you are applying to. If you are entering the workforce or looking to work your way up through the cannabis industry, you can also find great entry-level opportunities.

Get Ready to Apply

Now that you’ve investigated your options and seen what cannabis roles are a fit for you and your skills, it’s time to start applying! Ensure your resume displays your top transferable skills; even if you don’t have cannabis experience, your past work and skills are still valuable. Tailor your resume to the cannabis jobs you are applying to and use industry language to flag to recruiters your understanding of the industry.

While on your job search, it’s also a good idea to start networking. This will allow you to meet and speak with industry professionals already in the field you are looking to work in. There are many great resources for cannabis professionals to learn and stay up to date with industry changes. You can join cannabis networks and be connected to others in the industry you can turn to for guidance, advice, and possibly even a job opportunity.

If you’re interested in making a move to a career in cannabis, Growing Talent is here to help. With more than 25 years in the recruitment space for new verticals, Growing Talent is well equipped to help you navigate this budding industry. We’ll connect you to a network of top minds in cannabis today and help you find your perfect fit within the world of cannabis.

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