In Florida, jobs are being created to serve the soon-to-be functioning medical cannabis industry. From budtenders, growers, botanists and dozens of other positions need to be filled.
Dispensaries scouting locations across the state where 147,000 people have already registered as MMJ patients, the industry is looking for workers to fill thousands of jobs, per the Orlando Sun.
However, MMJ companies are discouraging cannabis consumers, oddly. They are being shunned as a liability or disqualified for having a criminal record involving drugs.
“We get hundreds of applications for every job opening we have,” said Michelle Terrell, spokesman for Curaleaf, which recently opened a dispensary in Orlando. “And maybe only 10 percent of those are qualified and meet the legal requirements.”
It’s a high-stakes business, where companies are fighting to establish an early market share. Florida state regulators are strict and transactions are handled in cash, leaving dispensaries stocked with thousands of dollars at any given moment.
Interested people are trying to get into the industry early as the opportunities are meant to be extraordinary, say the analysts.
Florida’s legal medical marijuana is expected to generate some $456 million in sales in 2018, according to a study from Arcview Market Research. This means that by 2022, Florida could have up to 25,000 jobs on offer.
These estimates put Florida’s marijuana employment behind only California and Colorado, which have legal recreational weed.
Not all of the jobs, however, deal with touching cannabis.
“For a lot of people at the entry level, they say they want to get into this industry because of a passion for cannabis,” said James Yagielo, founder of Miami-based medical marijuana recruiting firm HempStaff. “We usually tell them they should avoid bringing up any illegal activity regarding cannabis in an interview.”
Good advice in that Florida law requires all medical marijuana employees to undergo a criminal background check. Any felony will almost automatically disqualify a candidate, said Yagielo.
“Sometimes you can get by with a low-level, misdemeanor possession charge, but not always,” he added.