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Cannabis Industry Jobs - Leveraging Your Experience pt.2

 January 10th 2018, Photo/istock/relif

By Roger Malespin

Continuing with our look at careers whose skills translate well to the cannabis industry, this time we’ll be covering some careers where you can acquire the skills on your own time as well as at work. The cannabis industry is growing fast and many of the applicants are young people, so they might not have a hefty work history, but there are many skills that one can learn on their own time or as a freelancer that are transferable.

One of the most prolific fields is edibles. There is no specific culinary school for cannabis cooking, but plenty of cannabis retail store and successful restaurant chefs offer their own classes on the basics of edible creation. There are a lot of different areas in edible cooking - baking, chocolatiers, and candy makers to name a few - but all of them need people who already have experience in cooking. Becoming a quality cannabis chef takes time, but most cannabis chefs worked for years in a different culinary field before, so if you have cooking skills in any area, you have the basics of what you need to get started. A cannabis kitchen often mirrors any professional kitchen in that there are tiers of positions - executive chef, sous chefs, station chef etc; so this is a career path with lots of room for upward mobility.

It is recommended that if you have cooking skills but no cannabis experience, you start by making your own from recipes online. Maybe hosting a private edibles party to get some feedback on your work will help as well. It is not required that you have professional kitchen work, but in lieu of that some edible experience is preferred, and it’s entirely possible to do that in your own time.

Another prolific field in demand is web software or graphic design. The cannabis industry is exploding with small business whose owners don’t have the skill or time to make an accessible and helpful website, which is a requirement in today’s business world. Accounting programs and product management systems also fall into this category and are needed by any small business wishing to compete. Remember that overall the cannabis industry is looking to reshape the image of marijuana, and professional and beautiful design services are on the front lines of that endeavor. There are many companies that work exclusively with cannabis businesses who will hire competent designers, but the freelancing field is also very viable.

Anyone who has worked in web design nows how competitive it is, so your pitch and portfolio are important if you want to get noticed. If you haven’t done so yet, brush up your website and/or resume and do some research to see if joining a company or going the freelance route are right for you. Either way, quality web designers have a good chance of making the career change, and the field will grow exponentially as the industry expands in the next few years.

Lastly, we have probably the oldest profession of the list, delivery services. Do not be fooled into thinking this is as trivial as delivering pizzas. Many of the customers who receive medical marijuana are physically handicapped, and zoning laws often ban growing product on business sites. Because of this, delivery services are essential for those in need and for many of the dispensaries to succeed. Delivering could mean car transport from a semi-urban area to a more rural area, or even by bike in a more densely populated city, it all depends on the area and business. But however it works, delivery people are in demand. As usual, experience is preferred but not required. This is essentially an entry level position pay wise, but has a great opportunity for tips and a way to get your foot in the door in the industry. The employment landscape is vast - from big cities to rural countryside and everything in between - delivery services are always needed where there are cannabis businesses. Experience delivering in heavily populated areas will be a great benefit when applying, so emphasize it if you have it.

Getting into the cannabis industry does not have very high barriers. It is rapidly growing in a wide range of areas, and that growth opens up more opportunity for those looking for a career change. Network, research, and do a deep dive into your own skills and history and there’s a good chance you can find something to leverage toward your new career path.