New year, new job?
If this is the year you’re looking to break away into the cannabis industry, land a new job after getting laid off, or simply try something new, you’re in luck. The cannabis industry continues to boom despite the pandemic, and this is good news for us all.
Nina Zdinjak had a chat with Vangst senior talent manager Kelsea Applebaum, who says that the cannabis industry has had to be innovative during the COVID-19 pandemic. “COVID happened and the world reacted,” she says. “Like players in most other industries, cannabis companies were faced with a major challenge at the beginning of the pandemic – namely, how to survive. Off the bat, most line items considered ‘optional’ in cannabis were paused, hiring included. Initially, this shift in priorities seemed precarious for our business and for industry job seekers, but another change took place when almost every regulated cannabis market deemed our industry ‘essential’.”
“What we have found is that instead of companies mass-hiring with loose scaling visions in mind, they are now focused on truly critical hires,” she adds. “Salaries are more competitive, roles/expectations are more ironed out, and companies are in a position where the hires they’re making are integral parts of their organizations.”
When she was asked if it 2020 had a positive or negative impact on employment within the cannabis sector: “Short answer: it was surprisingly good.”
“Employment in cannabis pre-2020 could be seen as more of a job, whereas now, people see the industry as a true career investment. Most industries were faced with the truth that they were not ‘essential’ when the world shifted, and leaders within our industry finally had the ability to show the candidate market that a role in cannabis is well-worth the leap.”
Having said that, check out these in-demand cannabis jobs for this year:
Cultivation: Without cannabis being grown, there will be no cannabis industry. That’s why cannabis cultivation is and always will be the heart of the industry. Cannabis products all start with the seed, and for this reason both small and large cannabis cultivation facilities will always have the need for cultivation workers such as trimmers and growing assistants.
This year, expect to see more state programs and dispensaries launch, resulting in an increase for cannabis cultivation workers. If you want to succeed in the cannabis industry, it’s vital to know about the right growing techniques and how to operate equipment. These skills will vary depending on the growing environment.
Retail: In last year’s election, 5 more states approved cannabis legalization which was another hallmark moment for the industry. Some of these states may start recreational cannabis sales by the end of this year.
Both recreational and medical dispensaries usually employ at least a dozen employees in various fields to help with administrative tasks, customer service, budtending, and much more. But no matter what your job in a dispensary is, having great customer service and people skills will be a major asset. However, if you want to be a successful bartender, invest time in learning the basics of various strains, cannabis products, and their therapeutic benefits. Once you know all these like the back of your hand, you’ll be helpful to customers as you guide them make informed decisions with every purchase.
Dispensary manager: Dispensary managers oversee retail and day-to-day operations in the shop. Recreational cannabis is poised to grow even more this year, resulting in an even bigger demand for management positions most especially those who already have experience with retail and management.
Good dispensary managers should have excellent leadership skills and know how to retain employees while keeping their morale high. They should also always be on top of state regulations and compliance.
Cannabis extraction: Considering the fact that smokable cannabis is prohibited in many states where only medical cannabis is legal, the demand for extracted cannabis products will increase. There is also a rise in health-conscious cannabis consumers who want to consume only edibles, tinctures, and topicals as they see it to be a healthier alternative compared to smoking.
Jobs in cannabis extraction require special training, even laboratory experience and science degrees. That’s because flammable solvents, high-pressure systems, and the like all of which must be operated in strict, controlled conditions or else you run the risk of fire and other disasters. So it’s no surprise that one must have technical skills to handle these jobs, and they usually pay more than the average cannabis job.
Delivery drivers: The lockdown and closure of many dispensaries last year triggered an increase in cannabis deliveries. With no end in sight for the pandemic, delivery driver jobs will continue rising. Some states will also impose stricter measures for safety, which is why many people will keep order online and relying on delivery services.
The cannabis industry in the United States is seen to reach $30 billion by 2025, according to New Frontier Data. This impressive market value is expected despite the fact that cannabis is federally illegal, and 33 states with Washington DC included legalizing medical cannabis.
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