With the cannabis industry projected to add over a quarter of a million jobs to the American economy by 2020, you may be wondering how you can carve out your own niche in the green rush.
Whether or not weed is legal in your state, there are various ways to get involved in the industry. Either through direct contact with the plant or in an auxiliary business, you’re bound to find cannabis-related opportunities if that’s what you’re going after.
Oh, you can’t tell your indicas from sativas? Don’t fret. You don’t need to be a cannabis connoisseur to work in the industry — though in some cases, it could help.
Here are a couple suggestions to jumpstart your ganja job search.
This is a sure way to acquaint yourself with the cannabis plant. If you don’t mind doing the same thing all day, cutting the leaves off the stalks and manicuring the buds, trimming is a great introduction to cannabis cultivation and culture. Pop in a pair of earbuds, listen to music or podcasts while you trim, and you’ll come away with a stronger relationship to the plant, itself. Just be sure that whoever you trim for runs their cultivation facilities in compliance with state law, has ethical business practices, and if needed, provides you with a safe place to stay nearby the farm.
Law is one of the fastest growing fields within the cannabis industry. Weed lawyers today do much more than get people out of jail. People who work with weed must navigate a confusing web of legalese, differing marijuana policies on the federal, state, and local levels, and tax codes that make running a cannabis business even more difficult. Lawyers who can elucidate these policies and help growers, dispensary owners, and other cannabis industry folk stay compliant are in increasingly high demand, especially as more states legalize.
Think the Drug War sucks? Are you afraid anti-weed attorney Jeff Sessions will squash America’s cannabis industry? Do you think it’s unfair that in some states, you can legally buy a baggie of weed from the store and in others, that same amount would land you in jail? Join an organization working to promote more sensible policies around cannabis. Lobby politicians, help get signatures for a ballot initiative, or plan events to raise awareness. Whether or not you live in a green state, there’s no lack of opportunity when it comes to working toward justice.
This is one of the most obvious jobs in the industry, but you should know your Blue Dream from your Blue Diesel if you’re going to pursue it. Budtenders greet patients or adult use consumers to a dispensary or help them pick out their weed. Much of the job entails taking out jars of bud and letting people smell it. That means your should use your own senses, too, when evaluating cannabis, be its smell, feel, or appearance. This job is also a great way to learn more about the plant. No matter how much knowledge about weed you have when going into it, you’ll come away with a much more sophisticated understanding of the different strains and which ones are your favorites.
It’s almost impossible to count how many new companies are cropping up in the cannabis industry. All these companies need representation as they forge their way into the media and other public venues to display their product. Whether you represent a tech company, an edible brand, or an expert grower, become an ambassador for one, or a few, of these companies, and help them stand out.
While cannabis may be legal according to state law, many grow facilities or dispensaries still need to go great lengths to protect themselves. Securing the cannabis, itself, is paramount, as well as the wads of cash coming into the business. (Because of federal prohibition, cannabis businesses are barred from most banks, making the industry deal all in cash.) Security comes in all forms, from checking IDs at the door of a dispensary to installing a software system that tracks all the cannabis. So whether you’re into tech, or would rather interact with customers on a daily basis, security is one of the most vital fields within the industry.
There are all kinds of apps popping up to accommodate the industry. Weedmaps and Leafly are some of the most well-known, helping people find dispensaries and discover strains of cannabis. But as more dispensaries take root, and more delivery services are needed to transport weed, various businesses will need software engineers to craft their apps or make sure their inventory, security, and other systems are functional to keep the business running.