Jobs in the Industry
Our industry is an emerging one, it’s on the rise and growing fast. Within the past few years a number of different states have passed laws to allow medical sales in their state. Some states even went recreational, like Illinois, which became the 11th state to legalize for adult use at the beginning of this year. Since the earliest points, there have been significant pushes towards legitimacy and massive growth because of that! This has opened up a window of opportunity for growing brands and auxiliary services to create and hire both new and established positions. As the industry becomes more modern and legitimized the demand for employment and opportunity will continue to increase.
So, how much actually goes into the whole process?
Well like many industries, there’s a lot that goes into the industrial process between the time the plant sprouts until it reaches your piece so that it’s ready to be lit up. From the grow house to the glass piece, especially in modern terms, there is a lot of dedication and quality control that goes into ensuring that you are getting exactly what the description reads. Beginning with cultivation and ending at walk-in dispensaries, the positions vary from those that go on behind the scenes, like cultivation and finances, to customer service and retail workers, who are on the front end as the face of the industry. Between the diverse amount of specialty positions there’s really a home for many passions within this young industry. Some of the main sectors in the industry might include, cultivation, distribution, lab work, tech work, management, customer service, and influencers.
What does a position in cultivation look like?
Cultivation embodies a multitude of positions from landscaping, to plant maintenance, to genetic coding and much more. The cultivation will be a crucial part to how the final product comes out. This field demands knowledge, passion, patience, and consistency through the process. Depending on how large or small scale a cultivation facility is, a single setup can have anywhere from a duo of workers to a set of hundreds. This is probably one of the most time consuming processes within the industry because it begins with seed sprouting, goes through the harvesting process and even addresses packaging. Throughout this process cultivators have to keep a keen eye out for accuracy and like all arts, there is always room for improvements and growth within each batch.
What does the extraction process look like?
In addition to cultivation as a hands-on plant position, a lot of companies make their own concentrates through a number of different processes. From tinctures, concentrates, cartridges, and isolates; the variety of processing is so large that many different kinds of workers have the potential to explore work in this sector. The extraction process is the part where dry herbs are converted into concentrates, oils, sauces, tinctures, and other kinds of extracts. This is also the process where specific cannabinoids are isolated and separated from the rest of the plant products. This helps bring variety to the industry by offering different forms of intake. This process can also help determine what kinds of terpenes and other natural occurring compounds are in the plant, like CBD, CBN, and CBG. This line of work can take on a multitude of forms; from operation specialist, to quality control, tech maintenance, extraction specialist, packaging, cook/ chef, and many more technical positions can additionally be defined here. This can be one of the most tedious processes throughout the industry because of the immense amount of legal guidelines that are required to be followed, for example the testing results must be extremely precise and not over the limit. Throughout each extraction it takes a lot of science, data, practice, and trial and error to get things perfect, but that’s why most labs have statisticians and data analysts specializing in extraction to ensure the precision and best possible outcomes throughout every batch.
How does testing work?
This is where the product is tested for its contents. Here it will go through the extensive testing process which checks for things like harmful additives, chemicals, or mold. Testing also includes a check on concentration of cannabinoids like THC, CBD, CBN, and even the terpene profile. This work is typically made up of scientific professionals who have been trusted with carrying the product and ensuring a quality outcome throughout each batch that is brought in. These positions typically require thorough training and can even require experience with BA degrees in fields like biological, environmental, chemical, agricultural, or related sciences depending on what kind of position is needed or being applied for. These analysts are often trusted to be comfortable with advanced machinery, reading data, maintaining quality assurance, and using laboratory hardware. It’s a very tedious process that promotes and ensures the safety of consumers. The lab testing process is going to be a growing sector guided by legalization that needs a strong scientific lead.
What kind of positions involve distribution?
This is where the product is actually delivered from the cultivation to a storefront, warehouse, or sometimes directly to the consumer. Many cultivation businesses will hire for in-house or local distribution where there are often a highly skilled and trained select few who represent their brands through networking, sales, and delivery. Although many local businesses will do this themselves, there is also an abundance of specialized distribution companies that brands will hire to make their distribution runs for them. This could also include duties and positions like brand representation, financial advisors, inventory and stock managers, and even delivery drivers. The distribution process involves a lot of interpersonal and financial relations, direct selling, and brand knowledge. Some other positions might include accounting, driving, packaging, scheduling, logistics, technicians. As you can see distribution covers a wide range of potential careers.
What kind of jobs are there in retail / customer service ?
Customer service comes in many forms like retail workers, delivery drivers, brand representatives, service agents, marketing specialists, editors, sales associates, and networking positions. The customer service sector entails a lot in this industry, but predominantly this is going to be the people that are directly working with customers. It’s essential that these workers are familiar with the product they work with because they’re usually the one selling it or advocating for the education and safety of a product. This is one of the more common entry level jobs in the industry as it covers the people on the ground floor. Typically those with the most product knowledge will excel in this space but the potential for growth and learning comes everyday in this space!
What place do tech workers have in the industry?
Tech work is another sector that will umbrella a multitude of positions, however this is more diverse in regards to the fields of speciality for tech workers. Tech workers vary from coders, to program /app development, to in-house technicians, photographers, waterline workers, operations specialists, and engineers. With many products in constant development and programs in consistent demand, tech workers really have a place in this industry. As many modern businesses transition into a more technology based way of operating, more developers will be in demand to create programs that the industry finds itself in search of. Many large companies will even hire in-house technicians who are able to work with the product they’re specifically using in their operations. Technical work is involved in every aspect of the industry too! From developing Point of sale systems for retail workers, to developing new automated ways to care for plants in cultivation the technical sector within the industry is almost all encompassing!
What’s the best way to get involved in the industry?
Beyond this there are so many other opportunities both advanced and creative for those who want to get involved with the industry. “Putting yourself out there, asking questions, getting informed, and being proactive,” is best advice on getting a job in the industry according to David Belsky, CEO of FlowerHire. As companies transition into more legal procedures there is usually more room for growth and job opportunity because brands are able to put themselves out there more. Although many companies offer a classic career-link somewhere on their webpage; another good way to pave into positions in the industry is to network. Whether it’s through social media, mixer events, or even just through the people you know, a lot of companies will recruit potential candidates just based on face to face interactions and keeping things old school.
Other kinds of work in the industry:
The industry doesn’t stand alone throughout this process, it can also be expanded into accessories and necessities like packaging companies, smoke accessories, glass blowers, canna-artists, online forums, head shops, glass galleries and other services that aren’t directly working with the product but still contribute to the communities needs. The most important thing about working in the industry is being passionate about the community and industry you work in. The sky is the limit in our emerging industry because there is still a lot of room for innovation and development!
Check out our friends at Flower Hire about potential openings in your area and other related statistics.