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How the Cannabis Industry Is Establishing Itself as a Top Employer

Estimated reading time ~ 3 min
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Over the past 12 months, the cannabis industry has created 33,700 new jobs nationwide–making legal marijuana the fastest-growing industry in America. Interested in learning more about a job in cannabis? Jopwell is teaming up with a leading international provider of consumer products in cannabis, Curaleaf, to demystify these careers and provide an honest, insiders look at the emerging industry.

Not long ago, the idea of profiting off of cannabis production seemed like an abstract concept, but in this new job market, it has proven itself as one of the most promising industries. We are currently experiencing a once taboo industry emerge into a multibillion dollar profit market that has widened its reach into other sectors including healthcare, finance, consumer goods, and agriculture.

While legalization is prohibited by federal law, forty-four states and the District of Columbia currently have laws legalizing marijuana for either medical or adult use—paving the way for massive economic growth and viable career options. It is evident however that there is a stigma around working in cannabis, which is why it’s important to educate potential POC job seekers on the risks and rewards of joining this non-traditional industry. Here are a few insider tips on evaluating a career in cannabis:

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#1 Review the risks

Varying attitudes about marijuana use can have detrimental effects on your personal and professional relationships when considering a career in cannabis. For people of color, the long legacy of criminalization and it’s harmful impact on communities of color is a potential barrier to address and overcome. Be sure to address these risks with employers head-on and to request talking points and real-world examples to evaluate properly. Ask how employers are addressing historical racial inequities around incarceration and representation such as Curaleaf’s Rooted In Good initiative.

#2 Learn more about the plant

The cannabis plant is full of compounds that interact with our bodies to produce a multitude of effects. For the last decade, Curaleaf has focused on cultivating the cleanest, purest cannabis strains from hand-grown, healthy and happy plants. Marijuana legalization has unlocked the research, education, and advocacy funding aimed towards responsible use and regulation. Marijuana is a cannabis plant that contains more than 0.3 percent THC. Get to know the plant and its powerful applications across food, fuel, and medicine!

#3 Know the laws

The federal government classifies marijuana as a Schedule I drug. As of June 22, 2021; however, 18 states, two territories, and the District of Columbia have enacted legislation to regulate cannabis for adult use. Be sure to research your state’s laws and to ask about state to state regulation and employment eligibility based on how cannabis-related laws have evolved in your area.

#4 Consider the variety of careers

During recent focus groups with Jopwell members, job functions in dispensaries and cultivation were cited as some of the top associated careers in cannabis. It’s extremely important to note however, that corporate cannabis roles in finance, marketing, operations, sales, policy, and more are burgeoning. For example, Curaleaf’s SVP of Marketing, Kate Lynch came from a traditional marketing background and their Head of Talent Acquisition came from healthcare and retail. Consider your background and transferable skills and imagine yourself in one of these possible careers. Take the first step by reviewing open roles in your area and prepping your resume to apply.

#5 Evaluate the economic opportunity

Cannabis is expected to surge into a $50 billion+ market by 2026 and the economic benefits—job growth, investment, licensing, and ancillary industries continue to support this trajectory. Think of the moat needed to support the cannabis industry: technology, transportation, marketing, financing, security and more.

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It’s clear that we are in a progressive era and the rapid growth of the cannabis industry is a testament to how much people are willing to adapt and push the boundaries of what a traditional career field looks like. We are now in a time of exploration and the evolution of the cannabis industry will continue to open doors to innovation in the future. In order for the cannabis industry to reach its optimal potential, we believe that it’s necessary to push the needle on building sustainable diversity infrastructures and it starts with implementing impactful strategies.

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