EDITOR’S NOTE: NJ Cannabis Insider is co-hosting a Cannabis Career Fair & Business Expo on April 5 at the University of Stockton. (Students free.) Tickets here.
The buzz around cannabis is slowly turning into a whistle. A recent job sector growth report from industry giant Leafly has hopeful business owners and candidates all wondering how hiring will factor into the upcoming recreational market. in New Jersey and surrounding markets.
With 428,000 full-time cannabis jobs supporting the sale of $25 billion in cannabis products nationwide in 2021, there are more cannabis workers than there are. paramedics, electrical engineers or dentists.
So what does it take to land a job in this booming industry? We interviewed insiders involved in education, business development, events, and recruiting.
“I would say it really depends on the background and interests of the person,” said Rob Mejia, adjunct professor of cannabis studies at the University of Stockton. “There are so many different ways to engage with the cannabis world.”
Experience, knowledge, and how you leverage each are major factors when looking to grow in the cannabis space. He said that while Stockton is the only state university to offer a minor in cannabis studies, there are about 100 colleges and community colleges that offer formal education options.
“These are usually offered online and self-paced. Stockton offers six and they lead to a Cannabis Certificate,” he said. Individual courses and continuing education studies are online or in-person. .
Mejia said his students enter his program with a general concept of cultivation and retail dispensaries in mind, but how cannabis intersects with all supporting businesses and industries isn’t as obvious. . They want positions in retail stores and most use those jobs to determine where they can fit in.
“Students are trying to figure out if they want to stay on the customer service side, or if they want to go into marketing, or maybe web design, community outreach, management, accounting. I want say, there are so many different jobs,” he said.
Mejia encourages local education through events like the upcoming Cannabis Career Fair & Business Expo at the University of Stockton in Galloway on Tuesday April 5th. The job fair is a collaboration with NJ Cannabis Insider, NJ.com’s B2B business magazine, and the New Jersey CannaBusiness Association. , the state’s largest industry trade group.
“It’s important that people attend the events, listen to the panels, embrace the material online and network. Also, of course, you can read books and watch documentaries,” he said.
One of his former students, Jenna Misciascio, said most students find themselves in entry-level positions after completing these programs, where they compete with applicants who have no formal education but have equivalent experience.
While culture tops the list, she said management and salaried jobs are the most coveted.
Misciascio has been able to choose his own path by working on his own and creating positions for himself that link cannabis to another area of expertise. She books Sonoma County wine and weed tours and other local events.
She said people are looking for cannabis advice in all areas of all industries. “Arts, law, banking, finance – there are many things outside of plants that you can still be directly involved in.”
“I didn’t even have to leave my home country to find a job in cannabis hospitality,” she said. “Whenever I see students, I explain to them that there is a cannabis connection with each of their majors.”
She recommends bringing a resume that reflects relevant experience, interests, and education, or creating a LinkedIn profile with all of this information to facilitate networking. She said to be sure to ask about the company’s growth and expansion plans.
Asked about resources for potential candidates researching companies for partnership opportunities, Misciascio and Mejia cited LinkedIn, public records of existing cannabis companies, and volunteer work or attendance at industry events like great starting points for networking.
Insiders agree that the recreational market will be made up of a mix of entrepreneurs, trained cannabis workers, and ancillary businesses from many industries.
Some of the most needed services are business development, consulting and recruitment. These companies can help facilitate planning meetings between municipalities, licensees and cannabis experts.
“We are both a business development agency and a media production agency. We have formulated a niche and we work in different sectors, cannabis being a major one,” said Hassan Austin of MTN Biz Development.
He said a company like his can be a crucial resource for entrepreneurs looking for information and connections because their network gives them access to information beyond public records. Also, support services are needed in all other industries such as marketing, finance, and logistics at all planning levels.
Even if you’re not looking to be your own boss, there are services dedicated to matching your transferable skills and knowledge with the hiring needs of a cannabis business.
Sloane Barbour, partner at FlowerHire and CEO of engin sciences – a software company that powers Careers in Cannabis – explained their recruiting software which includes an educational platform and a bulletin board with listings from across the country.
“You can create a resume on your mobile phone through our platform in seven or eight minutes that allows you to apply for cannabis-related jobs,” Barbour said.
“A lot of people don’t have a resume, especially if they’ve been in the retail or hospitality world and haven’t worked. It’s very difficult to get back into the workforce, and this industry is going to need these people,” Barbour said.
He described the process from seed to sale, describing the different positions at each stage. Genetics, cultivation, harvesting, processing, packaging, manufacturing, storage, delivery and logistics are just some of the job areas of a plant-related business.
“A Leafly jobs report cited 428,000 jobs coming this year, rising to more than 500,000 jobs by the end of the year – a very, very significant amount of jobs,” it said. -he declares.
Barbour said that didn’t even count contract services such as photographers and packaging design.
“Every million dollars of legalized cannabis sold in a state creates between 14 and 18 jobs. And in New Jersey that means you’re going to have 30,000 to 40,000 jobs created based on those numbers, and 60 to 80,000 in New York,” he said of the expected growth on our surrounding markets.
All insiders pointed out that jobs cannot grow faster than the new market can grow.
“There are only 3,000 jobs now, so it’s going to be 10 times the growth. The sooner you get revenue through adult clinics, the more people will hire and the more impact you will have,” Barbour said.
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Gabrielle Warren can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org