The cannabis industry is poised for explosive growth. It is currently one of the fastest growing sectors in North America, and it’s thirsty for talented entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs to help build the future.
Facing the choice to pursue a job in cannabis, a good place to start is to ask yourself the question: “Why do I want to work on this, beyond a paycheque?” Whether it be a love for cultivating the plant, an intrinsic curiosity for all things terpenes, or a personal experience invoking compassion, there is no right answer. Connecting with a deeper sense of fulfillment through your work will provide innate motivation to help you be your best.
Asking the “why” question will also help narrow your focus onto the company you’d like to work with and highlight what tasks would be best suited for you. Cultural alignment with team members will be a large predictor of your daily satisfaction in a job. Reflecting deeply on this question is a great way to prepare for an interview.
Where to live and work?
If you want to be the best at what you do, your geographic location plays a part. There is simply no substitute for living and working around people who are experts in the craft. If you want to work in fashion, spend time working in Paris or Milan. If finance is your gig, you’ll be best suited to get experience in a financial hub like London.
The cannabis industry is starting to develop hub cities housing the accompanying thought leadership and business innovation. Jurisdictions benefiting from early legalization have a head start, and they are showing advanced product expertise and diversification. Denver, Colorado is one American example.
In Canada, some locations have a unique history with the plant, and their communities can support the development of cannabis talent. Being located in one of these hubs will give you access to the people, ideas, and businesses that support a career. Vancouver, BC is one thriving centre for social entrepreneurship and technological innovation, in cannabis and otherwise.
What experience & skills are needed?
Cannabis jobs are diverse, and there is likely a role that you have already developed skills for. Cannabis businesses operate like many others and necessitate job specialization in fields like accounting, marketing, finance, and customer service. Look for ways that the unique skills you’ve already developed can crossover into cannabis. Cultivation is also a large facet for Licensed Producers, and they hire for the tasks of growing, lab testing, process management, breeding, genetic development, and a host of other agricultural tasks. It’s important for you to distinguish where your personal and career assets are best suited.
Many jobs in the cannabis industry are new, and extensive experience within a position is less important than aspirations and motivation for progress. You will face projects never undertaken before, rulebooks made on the fly, and the opportunity to build the future. The hunger to apply oneself, learn, adapt, and evolve within a company is what businesses are looking for. What piece of the company can you champion and make better?
First steps: how to reach out?
Like other industries, the most common way into a position is through a warm introduction. Your network can help. Getting to know someone who works at a company through a personal contact builds the first layer of trust that is vitally important to any hiring process. People are considered for jobs based on their qualifications and merit, but if someone has built a level of reputation before joining a company, it’s an advantage.
Do the research.
In the early years of any emerging industry, fast growth brings people of diverse backgrounds. You want to ensure that the organization you choose to work with is aligned with what you value. You’ll be happiest with people who see the world in a similar way.
One place you can look to is the company’s mission. Outlining a simple mission statement is common ground for companies, as it’s the glue that keeps everyone working towards similar goals. Find a company with a mission that you fully believe in and are proud to stand for; it’ll make sure you end up where you want to be.
At Tantalus Labs, our mission is to advance the frontier of #Sungrown cannabis. We believe in growing world-class cannabis in #Sungrown, high-efficiency greenhouses—enabling carbon offset and top shelf products. If that’s your M.O. too, we’re hiring.