You might be surprised at how many different types of professionals the cannabis industry is looking for.

Does working in the cannabis industry sound like a dream come true? Are you ready to make a positive contribution in this space? If you’ve been wondering what it takes to start a career in cannabis, these top 11 tips are for you.

#1.) Start with Self-Awareness

Before applying for a single position, you need to consider a few questions:

  • What do you enjoy?
  • What are you talented at?
  • What kind of environments do you thrive in?
  • What are your goals?
  • What inspires you?

Unleash your brain’s creativity and explore your deepest thoughts with activities like journaling or mind mapping. Dig deep and consider where your talents may be best used. Start getting curious. What unique perspective or contribution can you bring to this industry? Think outside of the box.

#2.) Do Your Homework

Is there a cannabis business you would love to work for? Visit their website, see what you can find on Google – explore as much as you can. Learn more about the company’s team, mission, and values. No two businesses are exactly alike. The more you know about a company’s current needs and challenges, the more you can understand how you might come in and add value instead of simply asking for a job.

#3.) Assess the Legalities

The current legal situation in cannabis is complicated, to say the least. However, depending on your profession in this industry, fewer restrictions may apply. For example, take ancillary opportunities in cannabis like:

  • Marketing
  • Web Design
  • Graphic Design
  • Writing
  • Event Planning
  • Consulting
  • And much more!

When you're not directly "touching" the plant, the legal situation isn't quite so harry. But be cautious. There is no one size fits all when it comes to regulations. What may apply to one person or business may not apply to you. Take personal responsibility and assess your situation.

#4.) Attend Industry Events

Events are a great way to connect and find opportunities to get involved.

Cannabis is a relatively tight-knit community, and industry born out of activism. People in this space have banded together to combat local, state, federal, and international restrictions. Their hard work has laid the foundation of this industry.

However, that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for newcomers! There are numerous cannabis-based operations seeking outside talent. A genuine sense of curiosity and a passion for this plant can take you far. Meet the faces behind the companies. Get to know them and hear their stories. Here are a few upcoming cannabis industry events to consider:

Above all, be present and get active in the cannabis community. Show that you actually want to make a positive contribution in this space. Joining this industry isn't just about finding a job; it's about making a difference.

#5.) Volunteer Your Time

Volunteering is a great way to put your talents to work. It also demonstrates to potential employers your passion and commitment to this plant. Remember it’s not about getting a new job at coming in and adding value!

Investing your time as a volunteer can establish trust. After all, even if you don’t have experience working in a cannabis company, volunteering for an advocacy group can help you get your foot in the door. A few hours of your time can have a huge impact.

A good place to start would be looking for your nearest NORML chapter (National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws) and getting touch!

#6.) Search Online Job Boards

Did you know you can find employment opportunities in the cannabis industry using online job boards like Monster and Indeed? Sure, every job isn’t posted online. However, there are more than you think. Some current positions include:

  • Cannabis Licensing Manager
  • National Sales Account Executive
  • Human Resources Director
  • Operations Assistant
  • Budtender
  • Social Media Intern 
  • Extraction Technician
  • General Manager – Dispensary
  • eCommerce Manager
  • Insurance Agent
  • Business Development Specialist 
  • Compliance/Licensing Officer

These are only a fraction of the jobs available. Leave the location blank in your search to find opportunities nationwide. Or, use a cannabis job board to narrow down your search. While many positions will be listed in multiple locations, it's wise to explore more than one outlet. In addition, don't forget to do some homework on your potential employer. If it seems too good to be true it might be. Look for any red flags and trust your instincts.

#7.) Use a Cannabis Staffing Agency

Using an online job board is a great starting point if you’re considering entering the cannabis industry. But it’s also worth mentioning cannabis staffing agencies. Solely catering to cannabis businesses, using a staffing agency can help you identify relevant and current opportunities. Here are some agencies to consider:

These agencies specialize in matching the right candidates with the right employers, which can save you time in your job search. So, is it the right move for you? Ultimately that is your call to make. If you're someone who would like some assistance, a staffing agency may be perfect. But if you're someone who tends to be a self-starter, it may not be worth your while. It's all about finding what works for you. There is no single "perfect" way to enter this industry.

#8.) Leverage Virtual Networks

Join the conversation online, share valuable content, and ask great questions!

Worried that your location will limit your job search? Although living in a place where cannabis is legal will obviously allow you to pursue more employment opportunities – cannabis is global.

Regardless of your current zip code, you can begin interacting with this community. Virtual networks like Facebook, LinkedIn, or Instagram are a fantastic way to begin making connections.

A simple hello or thoughtful message can lead to a long-term relationship over time. The more you immerse yourself in the cannabis world, the more you'll understand how you can find your niche.

#9.) Frame Your Experience

The future of cannabis relies on many different skill sets. We each have something unique to bring to the table. Instead of worrying about what you don't have, focus on what you do.

For example, have you worked in accounting for the last 20 years? Great! Maybe you can help a cannabis company with their taxes. Experienced in graphic design? Perfect, you could specialize in designing logos for cannabis businesses. Whatever your passions are, find a way to apply them to cannabis.

#10.) Take Action

If you want to be successful, let go of your fear of failure and start taking action. No one is perfect. All of us are going to make mistakes. So take risks, be vulnerable, and ask questions.

Figure out how you can use the tools and resources available to engage in meaningful action. Keep a daily to-do list and follow through. We all are learning and growing with this plant. Amazing opportunities in the cannabis world are here for the taking. It is up to you to act on them.

#11.) Practice Perseverance

Why do you really want to enter the cannabis industry? Are you looking to get rich quick or provide real value in this space? Cannabis is a rocky yet exciting industry. There are major challenges and incredible rewards. What we do today has the potential to drastically change our future. Building this industry isn't about getting "in" on the next big thing; it's about shifting paradigms, sharing truths, and opening hearts and minds.

Want to join the conversation? We would love to hear your thoughts on employment in the cannabis industry in the comment section below!

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