The world of legal cannabis has created opportunities for patients in need and recreational consumers alike. Beyond that, it is also a great opportunity for entrepreneurs and job seekers around the globe. As more states and countries move toward more sensible cannabis policies the legal industry will continue to grow.
Leafly issued a report last month that found the cannabis industry now supports 321,000 full-time equivalent jobs, as of January 2021. This is up by over 77,000 from 2020 and has more than doubled the 122,800 from only four years earlier in 2017. In all those job openings, women looking for a career change may be considering how they can find a job in the industry.
Women Are Finding Success Working in the Cannabis Industry
If you’re a woman thinking about making the career switch to the cannabis industry, you’re not alone. In fact, a survey by cannabis recruiting platform Vangst, found that 38.6 percent of respondents identified as female, and 43.3 percent of respondents said women constituted the majority of their companies. This includes Leafwell where the majority of our team are women.
More important to note however, might be the fact that the cannabis industry has a higher percentage of women executives than the national average combining other industries. That’s Leafwell too! Our CEO is Emily Fisher. That survey from Marijuana Business Daily found that in 2017 roughly 26.9 percent of executive positions in the cannabis industry were held by women.
Breaking into the cannabis industry doesn’t have to be any harder than any other career change. Networking, educating yourself on the industry, and growing your resume are still the best tactics to landing a job. Here’s three ways women can find jobs in the cannabis industry.
Network to Meet Professionals and Discover Opportunities
In any industry, networking should always be a focus of your professional life. It’s how you get to know people, who know people, and that’s how you get your name out there. Building relationships in your industry is an essential first step to success, especially in such a new industry.
The cannabis industry is unique in many ways. One of those ways is that most of those who work in the industry are also activists who fought for it to exist in the first place. Of course, that doesn’t mean there’s not room for newcomers, it just means there are a lot of respected names out there you should make a point to get to know.
Networking can happen anywhere, but the two best places are in person and virtual events. Since the pandemic more and more virtual networking events have popped up, especially in the cannabis industry. As things reopen, trade shows, medical conferences and other industry events will once again be held in person, but virtual networking is here to stay.
Try Searching Cannabis Specific Job Boards
When it comes to finding a job, you might be quick to head off to traditional job boards like Indeed and SimplyHired, and you might have some luck. However, you’re going to be able to find more opportunities if you use a cannabis industry specific job board or recruitment agency in your search.
The THC Staffing group is a cannabis industry recruiting agency where you can upload your resume and employers can upload job listings. The company aims to help connect the right businesses with the right employees and offer help to both newcomers and current industry professionals looking to advance their careers.
This company is unique in the fact that it is focused specifically on ensuring the cannabis industry remains open and friendly to women and persons of color. Partnered with THC Staffing, Quality Control Analytics, and Joint Venture & Co. they have created CannaCareers, which was created to provide professional development resources offering job sourcing, education and more.
The traditional route into most careers is through a college education. But because the cannabis industry is so new, and in some places still not legal, opportunities for a formal education in cannabis is limited. Many online education outlets have popped up in the cannabis space to fill this need, and StudentMMJ offers both online education and connection to the handful of University programs that are currently available, as well as a job board.
A cannabis recruiting and staffing agency, Vangst offers a place to find cannabis industry jobs, build your network online (remember, networking is essential!) and grow your career. They provide news, reports, and interviews with industry experts, truly aiming to be a one-stop-shop for the job hunter or the cannabis business looking to hire. They also hold virtual career fairs, which work much like an in-person job fair and allow you to network “in person” so to speak.
Volunteer to Build Your Resume and Experience
When it comes down to it, nothing beats having experience under your belt. The good news is that there are plenty of ways to get this experience, even if you’re new to the cannabis industry. If you’re finding it hard to get someone to take you on for a paid role because of lack of experience, search for an internship or a volunteer position to start out with instead.
Smaller companies and nonprofits are often underfunded and rely on volunteers and unpaid interns to get things done. If you’re not in dire financial need, this is a great route to get you where you want to be.
However, if you need immediate income, searching for a more entry level job might be the best place to start. The goal here is to build your experience. Whether that is by volunteering in the role you want to start off or getting an entry level position and moving up, it all amounts to the resume you want to present to your future employers.
Opportunities Are Endless in the Newly Legal Cannabis Industry
The cannabis industry is only going to keep expanding in the coming years, as predicted in years past. This is only going to continue to create new jobs as businesses expand their operations and new ones open their doors. If you’re thinking about getting into the industry, now is the time. Entering the industry while it is still in its earliest years will provide solid footing to grow your career in cannabis over time.
So far, the cannabis industry has been a successful place for the women who go for it, so don’t doubt yourself even with a lack of experience. The industry is new and so few people can say they have five years, let alone a decade or more experience, there’s never going to be a better time to get started on your career in cannabis.