Probably the most common question I get from readers, and also from people I know, is 'how do I get a job in the cannabis industry.' I am always quick to point out that while the marijuana industry can be an exciting place to be at times, it might be the hardest industry to crack into in a meaningful way. Other industries have been established for a long time, and haven't had to deal with a federal prohibition of the product(s) that are at the center of those industries.
In other industries, you find a place that is hiring, fill out an application, nail the interview, and boom - you are hired. There may be a couple of passive aggressive check-ins in between to see if the hiring manager has had a chance to learn of your awesomeness. The cannabis industry is different. For starters, how do you even know who is hiring? And from there, how do you know that the company is a good company to work for? Should you be a budtender? A garden hand? Something else?
On the other side of the equation, things can be just as complicated for the employer. Probably even more complicated. As a cannabis business owner, you have to be strategic with your approach. If you just put a sign in the window saying that you are hiring, you will likely get all kinds of riff raff applying. If you just put something online, you could end up with an even less desirable pool of candidates. If a cannabis business owner doesn't go about recruitment in the right way, it could the difference between succeeding in the cannabis industry or telling sob stories years from now about 'what could have been.'
One person that I try to point people to, and her company, is Kara Bradford. Kara is a co-founder of Viridian Staffing. Viridian Staffing is the cannabis industry's leading staffing, HR, and recruiting firm. Viridian Staffing does a lot of the behind the scenes magic to make the hiring/applying process much easier for others involved. Kara's title is 'Chief Talent Officer' which should speak for itself. She knows what employers in the cannabis space are looking for in an applicant, and she also knows what businesses should be looking for out of a qualified applicant.
My parents have a combined 60+ years in HR, and I've personally showed them some of the things that Viridian Staffing has been doing compared to other companies, and they were thoroughly impressed. They know the ins and outs of hiring and getting hired in the cannabis space. If you want to learn from the best, which you should, then you should try to get to the Cannabis Business Summit next month in Oakland. Kara Bradford is going to be one of the presenters and will be imparting her knowledge. I've met Kara on a handful of occasions now, and she is very nice, in addition to being very smart.
Kara will be joined by a seemingly ever growing list of top quality speakers. I have been referring to the Cannabis Business Summit as the most important cannabis industry event of the year, and I truly feel that way. The cannabis industry, and with it the cannabis reform movement, is at a critical point. Movement for reform has been building at the federal level for a long time. Now is the time to advocate for federal reforms for the industry, with banking access and 280e reform being at the top of the list. I don't see federal prohibition ending without some steps in between, and banking and tax reforms for the industry are absolutely part of that.
The organization putting on the Cannabis Business Summit, the National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA), is leading the way at the federal level on behalf of the cannabis industry. They also do a lot at the local level too. I attended NCIA's Oregon Quarterly Caucus event, and it was one of the best local events I've ever been too from a networking and educational standpoint. I eat, breath, and sleep all things cannabis, and I'm constantly made aware of something for the first time via NCIA. If you are in the cannabis industry, you should really be a member of NCIA. They advocate for YOUR industry in ways that no one else does, and adding your voice and support to their association is important for the future success of not only one individual's business, but for the industry as a whole.
Tickets are still available for the Cannabis Business Summit. I'm going to try to do every thing I can to get down there, and you should too. You can purchase tickets to the Cannabis Business Summit at this link here, and become a member of NCIA at this link here. I encourage all readers to check out Kara Bradford and Viridian Staffing. You may not be looking for a cannabis industry job at the moment, but you will likely revisit the idea in the not-too-distant future, and it's never too early to get educated. You can 'like' them on Facebook, and follow them on Twitter, Google Plus, and LinkedIn.