Cannabis jobs. There are a few things you should know before entering in this bussiness
The cannabis industry is growing more and more every year. It all started when California approved the use of medical marijuana in 1996. In less than 20 years the situation changed completely until the year 2012, when Washington and Colorado approved the recreational marijuana too.
So far, 29 states have declared legal medical marijuana, including the nation’s capital. And nine plus D.C. allow the use of recreational weed.
Presently, between 160 and 250 people work, part time or full time, in the marijuana sector, according to Drug Policy Alliance, an advocacy organization.
Cannabis companies offer many different opportunities. They have people working in in accounting, law, agriculture, customer services, sales and much more.
Unfortunately , there are several factors to count with in this business because the Federal Government continues considering weed illegal. Because the state can give permissions to work in this market, but the Drug Enforcement Administration continues considering marijuana a banned drug with “a high potential for abuse.”
This situation makes it complicated for cannabis companies, which causes certain precariousness to the whole business situation.
“There are definitely risks involved in switching into this industry,” says Karson Humiston, founder and CEO of cannabis recruiting agency Vangst. “There could be a federal crackdown, in which people would lose their jobs.” This is a risky situation although that probability seems to be far away. But she and other leaders ensure “that’s highly unlikely.” And the truth is that cannabis industry is offering people a lot of jobs.
Suzannah Rubinstein, senior marketing manager at LeafLink, a digital wholesale marketplace for marijuana products says that “If you are a person who is looking to define an industry and create things for the first time,” she says, “cannabis is a great place to be right now.”
Best chances to get a cannabis job
ZipRecruiter, an online employment marketplace that hosts job advertisements, ensures that “the cannabis industry is most established in the Western U.S.” Denver is the number one to get a cannabis job in the US. It is followed by L.A., topped the list of the 10 cities that advertised the most cannabis industry positions in 2017, followed by L.A. San Francisco; Seattle; Portland, Oregon; Sacramento, California; Spokane, Washington; Miami; Chicago; and Boston. In the mean time, people are demanding cannabis employment everywhere in the country.
Cannabis industry can be divided in four main sectors: cultivation, extraction, retail and commerce.
When it comes to cultivation, the industry prefers people with experience in cultivating cannabis plants.
In extraction, chemists and experts in laboratory are the ones who process buds and leaves in order to extract oils, create pills, edibles and ointments.
In retail, the workers who work in the dispensaries are in charge to sell the products.
And in ancillary commerce, where we find a group of professionals who help the previous workers in their task via web developers, recruiters and so on.
Potential problems to start a cannabis industry in the US
“Although marijuana is federally considered illegal, the federal government doesn’t have much interest for cracking down on the cannabis industry. In fact, the federal budget doesn’t provide any means to the Justice Department to investigate violations at medical marijuana dispensaries that comply with state policies.” says Emily Burns, an attorney at Offit Kurman who specializes in cannabis law.
Therefore, it is not a risky business to work at a cannabis company, as far as the company has everything in legal order. Anyway, before starting to work in any cannabis company it is advisable to check the state laws and be sure the company has its proper license.
The most important question when you work in a cannabis company is that federal laws don’t apply to these type of companies. Because of this, some employers can work without offering his workers certain rights such as health insurance, anti-discrimination policies or compensation for injuries caused while working. Some states, such as California, have excellent working laws. However, other states don’t have them.
After periods on which the wages were low, cannabis companies are paying much more now.
For those looking for a job in the cannabis industry and decide that the pros outweigh the cons, the market is full of good opportunities, even those without previous experience in the business. When only few months ago Kannavis started its business, none of the 19 people Baker hired had any professional cannabis work experience.
“I had the opportunity to fully train them, make sure they understood cannabis science, customer service and compassionate care,” he stated.