As the cannabis industry continues to grow and mature, there will be an increase in the availability of the necessary skills in the labor market. There are already more trimmers, budtenders, and growers now who have worked in the legal marijuana industry for one or more companies. As more time passes, recruiting someone with the necessary skill sets and experience will continue to become even easier.
Just because there are plenty of people with the skills you need to fill a position doesn’t mean you will easily find the right person to help grow your business. There is a clear difference between hiring a qualified person and hiring the right person. A qualified person will have the knowledge and expertise you are looking for, but the right person will be qualified and also align with your organizational values and culture, work environment, and leadership styles.
Every business owner has had the experience of hiring a candidate who looks perfect on paper, only to realize he or she is not a good fit. It is likely that at a different place, under different conditions, he or she would be a very successful employee, but just not with your organization.
So the question becomes, how do I know whether someone will be a good fit for my organization?
The answer goes back to company values and defining what you want your culture to be. Once that has been clearly define, allow it to drive all aspects of your business. Without an explicit culture you will not be able to recognize the right person.
Once you’ve defined your company culture and know what the right person looks like, you can start screening for that in your hiring process. There are several inexpensive Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) available to help you customize your application process and filter applicants based on answers to specific questions. A system like this is beneficial in finding and identifying the right candidate for your cannabis business, while also saving you the time of screening more applicants than necessary.
This article is sponsored by Green Mountain Solutions, the provider of Learning and Knowledge Management Software for the cannabis industry.
WeedHire, the go-to website connecting cannabis industry employers with job-seekers, just published the most recent quarterly report on industry job growth. Two more states and Washington D.C. have legalized a recreational marijuana market since the last quarterly report was published, but those markets have not yet had time to significantly influence job growth. Still, this quarterly report shows that the cannabis industry is definitely budding, backing up the with the estimate predicting 200,000 new industry jobs in the future.
The cannabis industry has created a job market for more than budtenders, trimmers, growers and other common dispensary positions. This industry expands to many different sectors of the job market. For example, many of the listings on WeedHire are recruiting research scientists, program developers, attorneys, administrative positions and more. There are also ample opportunities for those seeking technology, marketing and social media positions. Although, most of the job postings on WeedHire list a salary range between $30,000-50,000, there are several starting above six figures.
According to the Q4 report, more than 148 million Americans now live in a state that has legalized medical marijuana, and more than 17 million live in states that have approved recreational marijuana measures. This means that approximately half of all Americans have supported cannabis policy reform where they live.
Implementation of state law has the biggest influence on the growth of the cannabis industry. Program development has delayed medical marijuana in Illinois, New York, Massachusetts and New Hampshire, among others. Once those programs are established, the industries will be able to grow further. For example, the flourishing Colorado industry has reduced the unemployment rate from 6.5 percent to 4.2 percent in just one year, and the Brookings Institute described the marijuana industry as an “excellent opportunity for young people without a college education to escape the clutches of minimum wage.”
View the WeeHire quarterly jobs report infographic below:
Photo credit: WeedHire
Legalizing the use of cannabis for either medicinal or recreational purposes has produced many positive results. The plant, itself, helps to ease the suffering of many people with debilitating medical conditions. Legalization and sales have provided state and local governments with tax revenue. It has even reduced strain on the judicial system by allowing law enforcement officers to focus efforts and allocated much needed resources elsewhere, thus reducing court costs by processing fewer non-violent offenders.
There may even be a greater benefit provided by the newly budding cannabis industry in the form of job creation. CannaInsider estimates that the legitimate cannabis industry will introduce 200,000 new jobs by the end of 2015.
Matt Karnes of GreenWave Advisors, an independent financial research company for the cannabis industry, agrees. He explained in the released statement,
“By 2020, assuming the most likely progression of state by state legalizaiton, we expect the combined (medical and adult use) retail marijuana market to reach $21 Billion. Jobs are just the beginning. A cultural shift towards the cannabis plant is taking place.”
CannaInsider released a list of some of the new job titles created with marijuana legalization in an effort to shed some light for those living in states where marijuana prohibition is still very present. The list includes the following job titles:
- Edible Artisan
- Lab Technician
- Extraction Technician
- Compliance Consultant
- Cannabis Tour Guide
- Software Developer
- Dispensary Manager
- Cannabis Attorney
- Packaging Designer
- Security Consultant
- Health Educator
Just as with any industry, some positions are at the bottom of the totem pole, while others are at the top. Head cultivators can make over $200,000 per year, while the average budtender makes closer to $30,000. An interesting point about the jobs in this industry is that they cover a wide spectrum. For example, there are positions representing the fields of science, technology, agriculture, culinary, law and more, all in one industry. As more states pass marijuana policy reform measures, more jobs will be created.
photo credit: theproscons