Things that anyone who wants in on the cannabis industry should know

Published Mar 7, 2021 10:00 a.m. ET
iStock / Darren415

It seems like everyone wants to get in on the cannabis industry, and it’s not hard to see why. These unique jobs and businesses are popping up at exponential rates, and we’re watching almost everyone who’s taken the leap succeed. The idea sounds like a guaranteed bet, as there are always positions to be filled while in the process of building a brand-new market, but it’s not all sunshine and rainbows.

Like with any line of work, there are clear benefits as well as drawbacks, but this rollercoaster ride is unique in the way that it’s constantly moving, evolving, and growing. Of course, we firmly believe that cannabis is an excellent place to be, that’s how you found us after all, but there are a few things you should know if this is where you truly want to succeed.

1. There is plenty of work to be done

Most legal countries now have lucrative cannabis industries complete with producers, processors, and dispensaries, but even if they seem like they’ve appeared just about everywhere, you should know that we still need plenty more. Not only do most regions still struggle with cannabis deserts, but many have yet to venture far outside of your average dispensary, with lounges and other 420 friendly establishments in short supply.

2. Adaptability is key

You might get into this thinking that you want to become a master grower or that you’d love to open a modern dispensary, but that’s only because there are the two most well-known options out there. Luckily, there are plenty of other unique positions that need to be filled in cannabis, and only some of them require higher education. You may start out as a budtender, but as you learn more about what’s out there, you’re bound to come across new opportunities, and this is where it pays to be adaptable.

3. It’s not easy money

Some people want to work in cannabis because they think that it’s going to be a sure thing, or in essence, free money, and unfortunately, even here, that simply does not exist. Everyone working in this industry has worked hard to earn their place, and that is true from the bottom all the way up to the top. Here you will always be moving and always have something new to do, but it can be fun with the right drive and mindset.

4. Cannabis is still heavily stigmatized

Cannabis seems sexy, intriguing, and really just like a dream come true, especially for real-life consumers, but no matter where you stand on this green ladder, you will probably find that someone somewhere will give you flack for it. It could be your friends, family, pastor, or any other person who dislikes the plant, and it might not ever be a huge deal, but those snarky, seemingly random comments come out of nowhere sometimes. That’s just part of taking this gig, at least for now.

5. There is no such thing as an ideal cannabis business social network

This might sound like kind of a strange point to bring up when we’re talking about cannabis business, as social media is probably the furthest thing from your mind, but with most of us getting our news and sharing information through these venues, it is important to get established on the right ones now. Facebook and Twitter, the two most popular online social networks, boast some of the strictest rules. While Linked-In and Instagram don’t necessarily support cannabis, they allow it, so that’s a great place to start.

6. Impostor syndrome is normal in cannabis

So many cannabis jobs titles that exist today were non-existence mere months ago, so just about everything here is brand new and still growing, which means consistently hiring new staff and opening new locations, leading to a great need for individuals who are willing to do what needs to be done. For certain specialized positions, prior experience is necessary, but due to the freshness of the market, it’s not all that uncommon to end up in a much higher position than you initially anticipated. This can be a shock to the system, but if you roll with it and own it, that strange feeling, like you don’t yet belong, will soon fade.

7. It’s one of the most accepting industries out there

Cannabis industry professionals come from all walks of life, but they all share one thing in common, and that is a passion for the plant. As long as you can relate, you’ll find that regardless of your experience level, most here will welcome you with open arms. This is one of the biggest secrets and benefits of getting involved, and it’s an interesting level of engagement that you just won’t find anywhere else.

8. You probably won’t meet many stereotypical stoners along the way

Though you might envision trimming plants alongside a fellow toker, and you could very well get that, chances are pretty good that you aren’t going to meet many stereotypical consumers along the way, and that’s because they’re a rarity. Stereotypical “stoners” are just that, a stereotype, and hardly the majority. You’re much more liable to come across regular everyday hardworking people, who are probably a lot like you.

9. We’re always learning

The rules, laws, and regulations are constantly changing along with scientific evidence that reveals brand new evidence every single day. There is just so much going on in cannabis, so even if you thought you were knowledgeable today, by tomorrow, whatever you thought you knew could instantly change, and we need to be able to stay ahead of it all. To succeed, you will need to always be ready to learn, regardless of the position you settle in. It’s a challenge, but learning helps us to grow, and that’s a good thing.

10. Anything is possible

This might not be an opportunity that will provide free money, and the stigmatized ideas are still floating around which can make the job difficult. Still, right now, while the cannabis industry canvas is still fresh it’s relatively easy to leave a significant imprint; all you need are a few good ideas. Literally, anything is possible, even if current rules or laws are temporarily standing in the way. You just have to want it enough, and if you do eventually, a lucrative job in cannabis will be all yours.

Legal US cannabis jobs increased by 161 over the last 4 years

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