Good jobs are scarce nowadays. Many would love to work in the cannabis business and would bring true passion to their work, but it can be a hard industry to break into. The medical marijuana movement has created jobs all over Colorado and as with many industries, getting to know the right people can help you get your foot in the door. Here are some steps you can take to set yourself apart.
First, let go of the idea that working with medical marijuana means smoking it all day long. Just as with any professional, you will be expected to conduct yourself responsibly. Cannabis use must be appropriate to the situation and must not interfere with your work. In fact, the consumption of marijuana is not allowed in any medical marijuana facility and personal medicine must be kept off the licensed premises.
Colorado requires that employees who will have direct access to medicine in cultivation centers, medical marijuana centers, and infused product manufacturers undergo a licensing process that includes a background check and fingerprinting. The application is extensive.
You may be denied if you
-owe back taxes, child support, or alimony
-have been convicted of a drug related offense or felony
There are two types of badges:
- This is where most hoping to break into the business will start. The badge costs $75 for two years and will allow you to work directly with the product under a supervisor with a key badge.
- For owners, managers, head growers, and those in direct supervisory positions. Costs $250 for two years and the application is more extensive.
Know your stuff
Trimming is a specialty job and most will be looking for past experience. Efficiency is king when it comes to trimming, so if you get distracted easily or don’t work well at mundane tasks, then trimming probably isn’t for you. There are worse ways to spend a day than working hands-on with different strains of fresh sinsemilla.
Experience can be a tough thing to show to prospective employers, especially if you are a grower with knowledge. Legal marijuana production is a new thing in Colorado thus so is legal marijuana employment. This makes it difficult for employers to sort out who has the knowledge to give them successful results.
Walking into a medical marijuana center with a sample of your latest harvest is a big no-no as MMC’s have to carefully document any medicine coming into the center. Instead, you should emphasize what you do know; strains that you’ve worked with, growth media, and success stories. Business owners looking to hire a grower are looking for a green thumb willing to work hard to produce quality medicine reliably.
If you would like to become a budtender, you need to know how to be able to talk about marijuana. If the medical marijuana center you would like to work at is anything like Denver Relief, your potential employer will not like words like ‘chronic’, ‘weed’, ‘high’, ‘ripped’, ‘blazed’, you get the idea. Budtenders provide customer (patient) service are the face for the whole company. Expect to be judged on sociability and ability to talk the talk without resorting to slang.
Budtenders do more than just serve cannabis to patients. To fill this role you must be a true cannabis expert, and also must be aware of individual patient needs and be able to recommend specific strains and edibles to meet them.
Other jobs too!
Remember, cannabis business is still business, so companies also need reception, marketing, accounting, record keeping, design and many other potential positions. Even if you don’t have experience working with marijuana you might be able to use your skills to break into the cannabis niche.
Above all, medical marijuana employers are looking for people they can trust. Owners have taken risks beyond their financial investment. As you must be aware, the federal government still considers the production and sale of medical marijuana to be illegal. Colorado’s comprehensive regulatory structure provides it protection from federal scrutiny, but that same regulation means that working in the medical marijuana industry means following a variety of rules.
Following rules means being scrupulous, something marijuana users aren’t generally known for. Serving marijuana to someone you shouldn’t have, transporting marijuana without proper documents, and other offenses potentially have very severe consequences for you and the entire company.
Landing your cannabis dream job is likely going to take a certain amount of luck, but taking these steps will bring you that much closer.