The number of available jobs in the cannabis industry continues to grow. As the cannabis industry grows, so does the number of available jobs across the country. According to Leafly’s annual Cannabis Jobs Report, the legal cannabis industry supported 243,700 full-time equivalent jobs as of January 2020 – a 15% increase (33,700 jobs) over 2019.
Across the entire industry and all roles, New Frontier Data estimates that there were a total of 425,000 jobs in the cannabis industry during 2019 and predicts that the number will increase to 743,000 by 2025. If full federal legalization occurs, the number could climb to 1.63 million jobs by 2025.
By next year, the industry is expected to employ nearly half a million people, and you could be one of them.
Getting a job in the marijuana industry is just like getting a job in other industries. You need to be professional, perform well, and know your stuff. But how do you do that in a fairly new industry where things change all the time?
Here are five key things you should be doing if you want to get a job in the marijuana industry today:
1. Get out and Start Networking
There is perhaps no better way to start a career in the cannabis industry today than networking. That means you should start networking online using sites like LinkedIn and Leafwire. In addition, attend in-person industry-specific events. This includes regional and national events as well as local meetups.
To ensure your networking efforts are successful, you need to be active and vocal. Introduce yourself to people, ask how they got started in the industry, and share your goal to start a new career in the space.
After the event, make sure you follow up with everyone you met, connect with them on social media, and continue your conversations. You never know when an opportunity might pop up.
Tip: Learn more about cannabis networking and industry events here.
2. Get Educated
The cannabis industry is continually evolving and change is the norm. Companies want to hire people who understand the industry and the current climate and regulations. Therefore, it’s extremely important that you keep up on industry terminology, news and updates at the local, state, and federal levels.
With that in mind, subscribe to online and offline industry publications and stay up-to-date on laws, regulations, and news. For example, subscribe to the Cannabiz Media newsletter for industry updates.
Tip: Learn more about cannabis college courses and degrees here.
3. Get Your Credentials
What credentials are required to work in the marijuana industry in your state? Are licenses or certifications required to get the type of job you want? Do your research, check with your state, and determine whether or not you need specific credentials to work in the industry before you start applying for jobs.
Even if you’re not required to have certain credentials, obtaining industry certifications can make you stand out from other job applicants. For example, if you have a budtender certification from a reputable cannabis industry certification provider, that certification shows your commitment to succeeding in the industry far more than a candidate with similar skills and experience but no industry certification.
Tip: Learn more about cannabis certifications here.
4. Get the Right Skills
If you’ve never worked in the marijuana industry before, you can still get a job. That’s because today’s employers will often forego industry experience for relevant, applicable skills developed in a different industry.
In fact, it’s very common for employers to actively seek highly qualified candidates from other industries, particularly for executive and specialized roles. Do your homework and learn what types of skills hiring managers are looking for, and then work to hone them to increase your chances of landing a job.
Tip: Learn more about marijuana jobs luring workers from all fields.
5. Get Help
You don’t have to go it alone when you’re looking for a cannabis job. There are many job boards that post industry jobs. Some job boards even specialize in marijuana jobs.
In addition, there are a variety of recruiters that work in the industry with some focusing solely on recruiting for marijuana businesses – both license holders and ancillary businesses. Take initiative and reach out to them to improve the productivity and success of your job search.
Tip: Learn more about cannabis jobs and recruiters here.
Related Reading: Client in the Spotlight – Vangst
Key Takeaways to Get a Job in the Cannabis Industry
Ready to find your new career in the cannabis industry? Get started by tackling these five tasks:
- Get out and start networking
- Get educated
- Get your credentials
- Get the right skills
- Get help
Keep in mind, these are the same things you need to do if you’re looking for a job in any other industry. However, there are some challenges in this industry that make it different from others. Specifically, the industry is still new, and it’s changing all the time. You need to be agile, eager, and dedicated to find a cannabis job and succeed in the long-term.
Use the tips provided above, to set yourself up for job hunting success so you can start a successful new career in the cannabis industry.
Originally published 7/8/19. Updated 2/28/20.
Susan Gunelius, Lead Analyst for Cannabiz Media and author of Marijuana Licensing Reference Guide: 2017 Edition, is also President & CEO of KeySplash Creative, Inc., a marketing communications company offering, copywriting, content marketing, email marketing, social media marketing, and strategic branding services. She spent the first half of her 25-year career directing marketing programs for AT&T and HSBC. Today, her clients include household brands like Citigroup, Cox Communications, Intuit, and more as well as small businesses around the world. She has been working with clients in the cannabis industry since 2015. Susan has written 11 marketing-related books, including the highly popular Content Marketing for Dummies, 30-Minute Social Media Marketing, Kick-ass Copywriting in 10 Easy Steps, The Ultimate Guide to Email Marketing, and she is a popular marketing and branding keynote speaker. She is also a Certified Career Coach and Founder and Editor in Chief of Women on Business, an award-winning blog for business women. Susan holds a B.S. in marketing and an M.B.A in management and strategy.