Whether you’re looking for your first cannabis job or have been in the industry for some time, these cannabis job seeker tips will help you connect with your interviewer and make them feel confident that you are the person for the role. (Disclaimer: Of course, these tips are only if you truly are meant for the job. They’re meant to help you put your best foot forward.)
What qualifies an individual for a cannabis job is more than just their skill set… Skills are really just half of the equation. It also takes grit, innovation, and a whole lot of passion. When you have those three things combined with skills, you are the person for the role. To level up your job search, we’ve put together these 8 cannabis job seeker tips:
Cannabis job seeker tips
1 Market your transferable skills
While cannabis companies are certainly on the hunt for employees who have previous cannabis experience… The reality is that there are not enough people with cannabis experience yet to meet the demand. More than half of the industry’s employees are coming from outside the industry. This means that transferable skills are key.
Understand your skill set and be prepared to explain how your specific skill set is relevant and applicable to the position you’re applying for. For example, veterans have skills that are highly transferable (watch how military experience can benefit cannabis teams). Someone like Aubrey Estrin had never managed a cannabis retail dispensary, but her prior military and work experience made her highly capable to jump right in as a manager.
Do you have experience in a start-up environment? If so, broadcast it – it shows your ability to adapt and pivot which is critical for the cannabis industry.
During your interview, YOU need to lay out how your experiences are valuable. You need to connect the dots for the company that’s hiring you.
Start by updating and tailoring your resume to the cannabis industry. Not sure how? We go into detail in how to write a cannabis resume.
2 Know yourself
What do you want to do? You don’t need to reinvent the wheel. YOU know what’s best for you. Consider your goals and which types of roles will get you there. Ask yourself:
- Where do you see yourself?
- What do you see yourself doing every day?
- What companies are you drawn to?
- Who do you find yourself talking to the most?
Are you a people person? Maybe you would be great in sales or management. Do you like to stay behind the scenes? Maybe you’d excel in cultivation or production.
Are you someone that likes to help, advocate, and be a source of information? Is your strength talking to new people? If so, you may be great in sales or field marketing.
In which cannabis job is right for me, we talk about a few different types of cannabis roles.
3 Educate yourself on the industry
Look like you’re invested in the cannabis industry by keeping your pulse on the industry. Companies aren’t going to tell you everything you need to know. It’s your job to find out.
Best places for cannabis industry news
4 Have passion and humility
Not everyone who works in cannabis needs to be a consumer, but you do need to have a passion for the plant. What is your personal connection to the plant? What is your ‘why’ for wanting to be in the cannabis industry?
Right now, the cannabis industry is building the foundation for the future of the global cannabis industry. Cannabis employees must have reverence for this stage of the industry and make choices with integrity. At FlowerHire, we’re building a conscious cannabis community in an effort to establish the strongest foundation for the future.
Part of this means understanding the history of the plant and the roots of this industry. You’ll meet people who have been in the industry for decades before the legalization movement. And there are people who have been in jail and who have endured extreme suffering. Check out these articles to learn more:
- The history of cannabis reform in America
- The history of LGBTQ+ communities in cannabis
- How AAPI’s in cannabis are breaking stigmas and reviving history
5 Network and connect with industry professionals
A strong network is your secret weapon for working in the cannabis industry. The cannabis industry is one big (yet somehow small) community of like-minded folks. And each individual state – or ‘market’ – is its own subculture. You can connect with people both in-person and on Linkedin.
If you’re in an area that already has a more mature market, there are likely events happening somewhat regularly. Start following local cannabis businesses on Linkedin and Instagram to find out where the people who work at those companies are hanging out.
Create genuine human-to-human connections with people. Show an interest in what they do and the desire to learn about what they do. Learning about other people’s workplaces, skills, and duties will help inform you about what you want to do. Plus — here’s a secret — people love talking about themselves, so keep the focus on them and show your genuine interest.
Keep growing your network and you’ll get where you want to go. Cannabis industry members want to help connect good humans so we can grow our industry with conscious people.
TIP: When you connect with someone who is either doing what you want to do or is working at a company you want to work at, try asking them questions like
- Where do you go (online or live) to connect with other industry members?
- Are there any online cannabis communities you’re a part of?
- Where do you go to stay current on industry news and information?
6 Expect the unexpected and stay flexible
The cannabis industry is experiencing hypergrowth which affects every aspect of the business.
Since the laws governing cannabis businesses are constantly changing, businesses are constantly adapting. Oftentimes when a law changes, it has a domino effect on the entire company and has the potential to change the way a company operates completely.
Keep this in mind when reading your job description. The job you sign up for could change as the company adapts to the industry. This may be intimidating for some, but it’s something that keeps the cannabis industry full of vibrance! It’s a reason why cannabis is like dog years — two or three years in cannabis is like 21 years in a mainstream industry. If you’re looking to gain a ton of experience, fast, cannabis is the express ticket. Be ready to wear many hats and be open to opportunities.
7 Ask the right questions
Asking the right questions in an interview shows that you’ve done your research. It also shows that you care about being a good fit with the company. Yes, the company is interviewing you to see if they want to hire you. But don’t forget that YOU are also interviewing the company to make sure that the company is a good fit for you!
If you show up prepared, ask the right questions, and want the job, the company will have a lot more confidence in its ability to retain you as an employee long-term. Since the industry has historically had a high turnover rate, cannabis employee retention is important.
Questions to ask:
- Is the company in one state or is it a multi-state operating business?
- Is the company plant-touching or non-plant touching?
- Does it operate in both medical and adult-use states?
- Does the company have the right licenses?
- Is the company funded? (What you’re really wondering is: Will the company survive the pre-revenue period?)
- Who are the other members of your team?
- Which departments do you collaborate with the most?
- How do you expect the team to evolve?
- What are the company’s goals?
- What are the goals of the department?
8 Be patient
Keep in mind that in cannabis, new challenges arise daily. One day hiring a new employee may be a top priority, and the next day, a new challenge could take precedence. If it’s taking a while for someone to get back to you, don’t lose hope. Respectfully follow up to show your interest and remind them, but don’t be pushy.
Still not sure if a cannabis job is the career change you need? Here are the reasons to work in cannabis and why it’s smart to start NOW.
And if you need some more inspiration, the following Talent in Cannabis Profiles show different career paths and personal journeys other industry members have taken. with the following Talent in Cannabis Profiles: