Each time a state legalizes marijuana for recreational use, tens of thousands of brand spanking new jobs are created. This is perhaps one of the most exciting aspects of the cannabis movement for those people who have dreamed for years about earning a living working with weed.
It can be difficult, however, to track down job openings in the cannabis trade. Sure, a real eager beaver can beat the streets in hopes of finding gainful employment in the field of ganja — they can even scour the internet for cannabis firms looking to fill positions in their neck of the woods. But the best, and perhaps the easiest way to find work in the world of weed is to hit the job fairs.
Just like any other job fair, an event hosted by cannabis industry representatives is an excellent way for people to hone in on the right opportunities and submit their resume to dozens of companies itching to hire. This is where even unskilled workers can go to find decent paying positions in cultivation centers, dispensaries, not to mention paraphernalia manufacturers and cannabis kitchens. Some of the leading jobs recruited during these events are budtenders, managers, sales representatives, growers and bookkeepers, according to the Vangst Talent Network.
But just because companies are hiring people to grow and sell marijuana doesn’t mean a job candidate should go in unprepared. These firms have invested millions of dollars for a chance to make it in the ever-changing business of cannabis, so it stands to reason that they want the best people on their side. Most of these companies would even prefer that their employees not stay baked all day. So maybe the best tip we can offer someone heading to a cannabis job fair is don’t go stoned.
As hypocritical as it may sound, most states require cannabis workers to be felony free – even if the conviction was only for marijuana. In some cases, a job applicant convicted of a pot-related crime could be blacklisted from the scene. States like Illinois are pushing to change this aspect of cannabis employment.
Even if you don’t have a record, it is probably best not to discuss any illegal activity. If you’re gunning for a position as a cultivator, it’s okay to talk about growing techniques and other details pertinent to the job. But revealing that your weed supplies the entire Southside of Chicago isn’t necessary.
Beyond that, someone interested in nailing down a position in the cannabis trade should ditch the tie-dyed shirt, clean themselves up and go in with a professional attitude. Always dress for success during these events and be polite. Crowds can be huge, and companies are literally talking to hundreds of people, so making a great first impression is essential. Please and thank you go a long way.
Regardless of whether you have any experience with cannabis or not, it is necessary to arrive at a job fair with a resume and be prepared to interview on the spot. A strong candidate will be ready to give interviewers an “elevator pitch,” which is a 30-60 second spiel that tells them what makes you the best person for the job.
This shows companies that you have confidence and some sense of what you are trying to achieve. Not everyone who shows up at these events will be that ready to conquer. The ones who are, however, stand a better chance of going to the top of the pile.
Also, be sure to collect business cards from interviewers and don’t be afraid to make follow up calls. No one has ever been discounted from the hiring pool because they showed too much initiative and enthusiasm.
If you need some motivation to help get you off the couch and to a cannabis job fair, just know that most positions come with a starting wage of between $12-16 per hour. A report from Glassdoor finds that cannabis workers earn 11 percent more than the median U.S. salary of $52,863. And there is significant growth potential in the cannabis trade, as well. The person starting out at $12 per hour today as a laborer in a cultivation center could be quickly promoted and earn higher wages.
Now go, make your life better!