The cannabis industry is growing like a weed. And with that, comes a demand for cannabis jobs.
“There’s a huge demand for talent right now, especially since California has gone recreational,” ForceBrands’ Director of Client Strategy, Ben Ramsey, said. “The problem is that most people want someone who has experience managing a cannabis brand at scale, and right now, that doesn’t exist.”
So who are the people behind the growing cannabis industry that’s gaining momentum in Colorado, Oregon, and now California? And where are they coming from?
“There are a few hiring patterns we’ve noticed when cannabis brands have approached us to help build out their teams,” Ramsey said, who went on to describe where the candidates are coming from across each vertical.
“On the operations and manufacturing side, cannabis brands have had success in hiring candidates who come from manufacturing and operations roles at companies that produce plants that are grown in a similar fashion to cannabis – think hops (hops and cannabis are cousins) and tomatoes (they’re also grown hydroponically),” Ramsey said.
On the sales side, the closest equivalency cannabis brands are looking at in terms of new hires are candidates who have direct store delivery (DSD) experience.
“Cannabis brands should look for anyone who has experience selling to independent stores — someone with sales experience in natural beverage or beer sales would be a great fit.”
On the finance side, anyone with experience working in a regulated industry is a sought-after prospect. Most often, that means someone who has worked with alcoholic beverages, tobacco, or pharmaceuticals.
When it comes to marketing, Ramsey says cannabis brands are eyeing people who have experience building a brand from scratch.
“There are a lot of new cannabis players that are, at most, a couple of years old,” Ramsey said. “These brands are looking for someone who has effectively launched a brand and seen it through ideation, to infancy, to market.”
Although it’s new space, brands are building out their teams in a conventional way like any traditional CPG brand by focusing on strengthening their main verticals — and filling those verticals with people who are passionate and educated about the space.
“Regardless of the division that’s hiring, brands want someone who’s knowledgeable about the sector which is an interesting proposition, because it was mostly illegal until a couple of months ago,” Ramsey said. “Ideally, they’re looking for candidates who are mature and insightful cannabis consumers.”
Are you interested in joining this rapidly growing industry? View one of our open cannabis jobs below, and visit our job board for more great cannabis jobs.