If you like to research cannabis as much as you enjoy consuming it, you have probably sent a reply to a “budtender” job listing on Craigslist at some point. Having been on the receiving side of this process, it is important to remember several factors when trying to make an impression on the Hiring Manager, who has most likely already gone through 100 emails before looking at yours.
1. Rolling Joints: A Career Selling Point
Just because you are applying for a position that basically requires you to consume your favorite drug doesn’t mean you shouldn’t present yourself as a professional during the entire HR process. The Hiring Manager doesn’t want you to put how long you’ve been selling pot to your friends as a “qualifying factors” bullet at the top of your resume. However, if you’re great at rolling joints by hand or are working on a college degree pertaining to Social Media Management, you do have an edge, and you have to learn how to sell your canna-skills to the prospective employer. Most cannabis centers are smaller, so someone who has a wide range of relevant assets to the company is going to be considered over those who don’t. Assuming that this industry is laid back by sending a rambling paragraph about yourself to a manager implies that you think we’re just as unprofessional as you are.
2. The Interview
Just because you’ve been asked several questions by the Hiring Manager regarding the specific effects of different strains does not mean you should arrive to your interview high on one of them. In fact, in Colorado, it is shockingly against the law to show up medicated to work at a cannabis center. Just like any other job, HR is looking for patients who can function at work, be punctual, and most importantly, be productive.
3. Do Your Research!
If you can clear the ‘daytime sobriety hurdle,’ then you’re smart enough to understand this next step. In this industry, it’s important to ask as many questions as the manager or owner is asking you. It is dually important to memorize laws and/or bills associated with MMJ in your area. Medical cannabis is still illegal on the federal level. Despite the Holder Memo in 2009, it is imperative to learn the state/county/local laws for regulation if you want to get a job at a good dispensary. If you’re in California, ask how long they’ve been open, if they’ve been approved by the city to function, and be assured that they have enough money to function. This question might be unheard of in other work fields, but in the California medical cannabis industry, if someone tells you they have $50k, a dream, and no grow… run as fast as you can.
In Colorado, regulation is king, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do your homework. Ask them if they are within 1,000 ft of a school, park, or rehab facility. Recently, the Feds have been closing centers quickly due to this, even though state law allows facilities to function near these sites.
Stability in this field is rare, but understanding how the industry works is the key to getting your hemp sneaker in the door. Once you show a dispensary that you are passionate, knowledgeable about the product, and well-versed in compliance for any given state, you may just make it to the final round… and the first step toward your dream career.