Although it has been several years since the beginning of cannabis legalization, it is still a very popular and growing industry. On a monthly basis, dispensaries receive hundreds of resumes from individuals of various walks of life looking to get their foot in the door. The experience I have had personally in the industry has been a positive one filled with fun and an equal amount of growth and change. Those who desire experience in the cannabis industry must be aware of some factors involved, as it is not an easy road but it is a rewarding one.
What can help or hurt one’s foray into a position within the cannabis industry has to do with the many preconceived notions they may be bringing into the experience. Like any other job, a position with a marijuana business comes with the same nuts and bolts, like the ability to work well with others, adapt to change well, and have good communication. On occasion, however, some common opinions are that dispensaries are laid back and you can come to work stoned and hang out with your friends at work all day listening to Bob Marley. Another myth is that being a big cannabis consumer or having a grow at home is any qualification for a job in the industry. These perceptions, among others, are false and not how regulated cannabis businesses run. Working in a dispensary should be taken just as seriously as any other job, and even more so at times. The legalization of the buying and selling of marijuana products includes a large number of procedures and regulations that must be followed, as compliance is essential for a cannabis business to stay open and able to serve its loyal customers.
For example, budtenders are expected to understand and perform compliance procedures competently and accurately. This includes maintenance of inventory, understanding all product labeling, sales equivalencies at the point of sale, and the rules and regulations surrounding consumption. Growers
must be adept in State and Federal agricultural rules, and must undergo extensive training in worker protection standards, and pesticide product application. Head growers must go through further training as certified private pesticide applicators which includes continuing education and knowledge of rigid regulations. Trimmers must be familiar with basic trimming but also State rules for cannabis waste management and track all processing in the State inventory system METRC. Entry level jobs are based in compliance and understanding of rules and regulations more so than how big of a rip you can take on your bong.
The road to legalization has been a bumpy one which is why it is essential for those who want to enter the industry to see it as a serious one and not just some casual job. Rules and protocols ensure not only that employees get to keep their job, but that customers can continue to purchase legal cannabis. It can be difficult to roll with the punches when they tend to occur monthly but it is also part of what keeps this industry exciting. With the exponential growth, this industry has seen over just the past few years, the ever-changing scope of compliance has moved this industry progressively towards a more corporate structure. Those who have the desire to work in the industry will need to be open and ready to this perpetually changing landscape.
Working in the cannabis industry can be a challenging and confusing place to be, but it can also be one of the most rewarding. The talented and skilled individuals behind it are diverse but are united under the common love of cannabis. It is this love and concern for the continued and widespread legalization we must all remember when taking a position in such an important industry as this one.