This article was originally published December 8, 2020 but due to a problem with our server was deleted and is now being reposted.
As cannabis legalization sweeps the nation, the industry is expanding and growing at a rapid rate. The coolest part about the cannabis industry is that there are so many different job positions and types of work one can do. From cultivation, cloning, processing, trimming, infusing, labeling, transporting, marketing, and selling to consumers- the cannabis industry is extremely varied. While every type of position is unique, they all have common responsibilities and therefore have similar requirements during the hiring process.
In California, the industry is often divided between the different geographical regions of the state. However all areas share the same list of qualifications they look for in hiring cannabis workers. Whether you’re in San Diego, San Francisco, or Humboldy county, there are some streamlined processes in the industry. As technology improves and additional permits are granted, there are more opportunities than ever before in the golden state for cannabis workers.
Looking for a job in the California cannabis industry? Here’s the requirements you need to fill:
1. Be 21 years of age
Due to state laws and regulations, no one under 21 years of age can be employed by any cannabis business. There is no exception to this rule, even if you are of legal working age and possess a medical card. This includes all types of companies in the marijuana industry. However, if you are 18+ you can attend cannabis schools such as Oaksterdam University or take cannabis and horticulture related classes at college.
2. Be willing to undergo a background check
While a background check is not a state law to work in California cannabis, it is required by many, if not the large majority, of businesses. This is especially true for dispensaries, cultivators, delivery drivers, processors, and anyone who is handling products directly. A past marijuana conviction does not mean you will fail the background check, though. Most companies allow those with prior weed related convictions to work.
3. Additional Badging Processes
No special license is required to work in the industry. However, certain cities require a separate badging process with their own background check and fingerprinting procedure, usually through the local police department. This is unique to each municipality and is part of the initial hiring process. Not all cities require this additional badging.
4. Be Professional
The cannabis industry has been through a lot, to say the least. With legalization and recreational use it has obviously turned more corporate and many companies now have a nationwide reach. This means professionalism is extremely important when it comes to employment in the cannabis industry. Some people who have been working in cannabis for many years find their usual methods and job practices do not fly in the corporate or legal cannabis realm. Traditional beliefs and attitudes must also be adjusted in order to excel in the legal market. This means treating a cannabis job as a serious, professional career where punctuality and adhering to company policy is priority. Professionalism is the most vital thing to succeeding in the industry long term.
5. Be Teachable
You wouldn’t enter a new job thinking that you know everything, would you? So why treat cannabis the same? Just like any new career or job path, being employed in the cannabis industry means you will have to learn a lot. Even if you have personal experience or you’re coming from a different position in the industry you should always remain open to education. This includes learning a company’s unique way of doing things. Being open to advice and criticism can take you a long way as a cannabis worker.
6. Be adaptable
News laws and regulations are popping up everyday regarding the cannabis industry. This is especially true in current times during the COVID-19 pandemic. That means things can change quickly and suddenly and you must be able to roll with the punches. It is also a fast-paced industry with a lot of competition and a large community demand. You have to be ready for anything! Sometimes things go off schedule because you’re dealing with living breathing plants that fluctuate in their needs and overall growth. Remaining adaptable and being aware that the industry is developing can be the key to securing a position in cannabis.
7. Have knowledge
The last requirement for working in this wonderful industry is having some working knowledge of cannabis, compliance, and your job duties. Conducting background research is always the first step in educating yourself for a new position. Get a basic understanding of the cannabis plant, its benefits, how its grown and processed, and the general methods of production. Look up local and state regulations and compliance ordinances. Search hashtags on social media and read Yelp reviews. Browse Weedmaps to see the types of products that are being sold in your region. Reddit is also a great place to explore and branch off from. If you already have a lot of experience, reading industry news blogs, studying market trends, and learning about new techniques/technology will keep you knowledgeable and resourceful.
While working in cannabis can be extremely rewarding, it can be a hard industry to break into and challenging to advance in. Making sure you fully understand all requirements and meet them before applying for a position can give you a lot more advantage.
Looking to work as a cannabis trimmer or processor? Apply with us today!