Getting a job that you love can seem like only a dream. Getting a job that is 420-friendly may seem nearly impossible. However, the world is rapidly changing. As the legalization of marijuana looms, new industries and fields are becoming available. New possibilities are emerging, and as the world pushes to accept these less rigid, contemporary dynamics, attitudes are quickly shifting.
Many employers find themselves constrained by certain hiring laws and practices. Employers must be aware of how marijuana is regulated in their respective states. However, employers must abide by the federal law, and marijuana is still a Schedule I drug as defined by the federal government.
Many employers in the United States abide by The Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988. The Drug-Free Workplace adopts a zero-tolerance policy for drug and substance use at workplaces. This act also contains a requirement that all federal workers and contractors are drug-free.
Many places of employment are doing away with these antiquated systems of hiring and training. Instead, they are opting for a less structured approach to substance use. Some employers are choosing to drop the use of zero-tolerance drug policies. As states choose to adopt legislation that legalizes cannabis, employers find themselves up against old-world values and a shortage of knowledgeable workers.
You can use this scenario to your advantage. Be aware that you must observe the laws within your state and the by-laws of any company or organization you will be working for. However, if you are well within your rights and are a user of cannabis, there are a few things you can do to find solid employment in a 420-friendly field.
Look for Industries That Don’t Drug Test
Big corporate entities that are heavy on sales, such as car dealerships, will no longer test their potential employees for marijuana use. Industries such as clothing, technology, and marketing are often exempt from drug testing. Other industries include personal assisting, IT, real estate, bartending and copywriting.
Work in the Marijuana Industry
If you’re looking for jobs that don’t disqualify you for marijuana use, check out the marijuana industry. It’s burgeoning and will continue to explode in the coming years. In fact, more than one market analyst suggests cannabis will be sure to be the next rising star in the U.S. financial sector.
Researcher Fred Krissman insists that the cannabis industry is an “ag anomaly.” This term describes higher than average earnings for jobs that were traditionally considered low pay.
For example, in traditional farming, trimmers working in orchards could expect wages that reflected working-class income. The cultivation of marijuana plants yields considerably more income, with skilled workers earning upwards of $20-$30 per hour or more. Other jobs in the industry include:
Customer Service (Budtender)
A budtender operates as a specialist on all things cannabis-related. Many good budtenders can tell a customer all about strains, their potency, and can help them to find something that may be suitable for their needs. Budtenders require certain people skills as well as the capacity to stay up to date with changing inventory as well as overall trends.
Marijuana Content Writer
Marijuana content writers help the general public to understand what marijuana is as well as possible benefits and capabilities. As we delve deeper into the digital age, consumers rely more and more on websites to become more informed about their world. As a content writer for the cannabis industry, there is a growing niche for skilled and passionate wordsmiths.
An individual in this position will develop and implement strategies that drive sales. They will also spearhead monthly or quarterly analyses and company-wide research.
This position requires tedious, repetitive labor. Trimmers typically break down large cannabis plants into buds that are ready for sale.
A cultivator is more than a horticulturist. They are skilled in how to grow and nurture marijuana plants from seedling to mature flowering adults. Growers are the backbone of the industry.
Inventory Assistant/Package Handler
This position involves organizing the inventory and packing up orders for shipment or delivery.
Educators in this field organize workshops, teach the general public, and plan events.
This highly paid position encompasses the extraction of oils and other compounds from the marijuana plant. Master extractors possess a keen eye and an ability to accurately extract various combinations of THC and CBD. They are also charged with keeping the facilities up to code and ensuring that all workers are adhering to specified guidelines. To be a master extractor, you should have a background in biochemistry and engineering.
Quality Control Inspector
An individual in this position will maintain the standard of quality for all cannabis products created at a facility. This will include a variety of potency levels, health code, and legal standards. If you’re looking to get into this particular position, you should have a background in chemistry, biology, agriculture or botany.
A greeter must be friendly, sociable, and understand the nuances of customer service. In this position, the primary responsibilities would include greeting customers, ensuring the timely transfer of calls as well as ensuring the area is nice, neat and welcoming.
Go to a 420-Friendly Staffing Agency
Staffing agencies are not just the domain of mainstream businesses anymore. There are tons of emerging marijuana agencies that are looking to staff dispensaries as well as warehouses and growth facilities.
Many of these agencies operate the same way other non-cannabis related ones do. They work hard to get talented individuals, strive to retain them and make meaningful connections in the industry. This could be a great way to get your feet wet and decide if the cannabis industry is a place you’d like to be.
When contacting these agencies, remember to have a winning resume and cover letter on hand as well as clearly defined career goals and objectives. To get started, check out a few below:
This Denver-based start-up is about three years old but has managed to hold its own against some of the older contenders in the game. It now employs about 70 people full-time.
Although this company is based out of Seattle, they work with an amalgamation of some of the top industry insiders across the country. They’ve been in business since 2013 and specialize in the placement of a variety of full-time marijuana positions, including trimmers and dispensary general managers.
Ms. Mary Staffing Agency
This agency is adept at placing individuals in temporary contract positions. This could be a great option for anyone that just wants to try out the industry and get some experience.
THC Staffing Group
If you’re looking for an agency with a diverse group of professionals with loads of experience, then this might be what you’re after. This boutique agency offers a variety of placements in the cannabis industry.
Hempstaff recruits a wide arena of marijuana professionals, including trimmers, master growers, edibles chefs, and extractors. Their markets include entry-level positions as well as full-time professional salaried placements.
Work for Yourself
Owning a business can have its hassles and headaches, but it can also have its perks. For one thing, you’d be in charge of how your company is run, and you’d have free rein to do as you please, including not worrying about drug tests. You’d also be in good company. According to the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council, there are about 5.6 million small business firms in the United States.
However, owning a business is hard work. Be aware that as the owner, everything is your responsibility, including planning the business operations, securing financing and hiring the right people to be on your team. If this is too much for you to handle, you can try teaming up with someone or a group of like-minded individuals and create a board or split responsibilities.
The statistics on small businesses is a bit grim. Only 50% of small businesses survive the first 5 years of operation. With this in mind, take the time to carefully plan and execute a strategy. Being clear and realistic can save you trouble down the line.
Final Thoughts on 420-Friendly Jobs
The marijuana industry is no longer just a niche market. It is expanding exponentially and is moving quickly to center stage in mainstream media and courts around the country. Attitudes are quickly changing. In a recent poll, more Americans cited alcohol and cigarettes as more dangerous than marijuana.
As more Americans embrace the proliferation of cannabis and as legislation becomes more inclusive and less punitive, job opportunities will continue to expand. The industry is expected to garner billions of dollars in the next few years, a trend that means well-paid positions and the chance for advancement in an up and coming market. In fact, estimates suggest that there may be 467,000 new jobs generated by the marijuana industry by 2022.
Nationally, the market will bring in billions, and experts agree that as investment opportunities open up, there will be room for expansion and continued growth. Cannabis may be just the field you need to enliven your career and take your skills to the next level.