As cannabis becomes legalized in country after country, the world of cannabis is opening up. The cannabis industry is booming and in desperate need of professionals with a wide range of skill sets. The following will explore some key cannabis knowledge you might want to have if you’re looking into expanding your cannabis horizons, as well as some skillsets you might want to consider using to segway into the cannabis industry.
The vast majority of these skills can be learned either through certified programs or careful self-study online.
Before diving in, it’s important to note that the cannabis industry is a real industry; cannabis businesses are real businesses. This means that all the standards of professionalism you’ve come to associate with other workplaces should be applied here. It also means that standards for job applications like resumes and cover letters apply to this field as well.
Spend a little time looking through LinkedIn, and you’ll find thousands of cannabis-related job postings. Many of the companies working in this industry overlap with the medical industry, as in many places where cannabis isn’t yet fully legal, medical usage of cannabis is permitted. This means that often the standards for medical professionalism apply as well.
Professionalism is a must if you want to learn as much as you can about cannabis and eventually start earning your income from it. It’s also simply good to practice if you want to set yourself apart from other competitors. Things like time management, public speaking, punctuality, hygiene, and communication skills will be welcomed pretty much anywhere.
Social Media, Branding, And Marketing
Just like every other industry, gaining new customers and clients is a key component of thriving in the cannabis industry. This means that social media marketers, content creators, brand specialists, public relations team members, and marketing gurus are all in high demand in the cannabis industry.
If you’re skilled in coding, social media, branding, graphic design, voice-driven writing, photography, videography, search engine optimization, or backlinking strategies, you will likely find some cannabis jobs you are highly qualified for. If you’re interested in gaining these skills, there are a ton of online courses (for free) you can take. Typically, building a portfolio is a part of getting these kinds of gigs. Consider starting a social media page for any topic that interests you and growing it organically to use as your proof of concept.
It’s important to note that when you’re looking into courses in this niche, you focus on the year the course was created. Social media tactics age faster than a lot of other information as algorithms change so rapidly. You want recent advice on how to grow social media accounts and convert visitors into customers.
Cannabis is incredibly flexible. It can be smoked, rubbed into the skin in balm form, and eaten in a wide variety of dishes. Companies selling packaged edibles or serving meals containing cannabis are looking for people who have experience cooking with cannabis. Learning to use cannabis as an ingredient in your cooking is a spectacular way to niche down your chef skills and land a job doing what you love.
Network Like Mad
Whenever you’re looking to get into a profession or level up within an existing profession, networking is strongly recommended. In a field that isn’t as widely accepted as other fields (for the time being), this is even more important. It’s possible you already know several people working in the cannabis industry, only they don’t broadcast this information because some people’s grandmothers still think cannabis is for “bad kids.” To network, simply talk to people and be kind; ask them what they’re interested in. Bring up what you’re interested in and looking for.
When you have the opportunity to connect one person you know with someone else you think they’d click with, do it. You never know who has what connection, and this means you need to treat everyone you meet like they’re potentially hiring for the exact position you want.
Given the amount of cannabis that’s now in demand, many places are looking into growing cannabis all year round. This means engineers are needed. Greenhouses are being designed, storage facilities are being crafted, and packaging pipelines that meet strict medical standards are desired. Engineers will find many different opportunities available to them in the cannabis field. Most of these positions require an engineering degree which tends to last four years. There are, of course, go-your-own-pace programs available online and at some institutions for those who want to work around the four-year standard.
Cannabis is turned into so many different products that chemists are also in high demand. This is another skill set that likely requires a degree. It might be worth noting that chemists who work in the cannabis industry can make upwards of six figures. Being able to extract oils for products and test cannabis-related products are two of the most common needs this field has for chemists.
Like in any highly-regulated field, cannabis companies need to meet strict standards. And they need to be able to prove that they’re following guidelines. This means they need folks who specialize in compliance, someone who understands the laws and regulations and what needs to be done if a business is going to toe the line. There are certificates in this specialty, but it’s important to note that learning here is never done. Regulations are always being refined, and this means if you choose to focus on this kind of information, you need to be constantly learning about the latest changes and expectations.
Of course, cannabis is a plant, and plants need a lot of attention to grow optimally. Everything from soil microbiology to cultivation. There are a lot of marijuana growers needed; a common job title for this skillset is Director of Cultivation. Having a green thumb is a major plus, but there are also a lot of details about specific breeds of cannabis plants and their preferences. Plus, as stated above, there are lots of standards that need to be met. Understanding the life cycle of marijuana plants from seed until harvest takes both study and real-world practice to master.
The above list should have given you an idea of the many sides of cannabis that can be mastered. As the industry continues to grow, it’s likely that there will be university and college degrees that cover many of these skills and knowledge pools under a singular heading to help prepare students for working in the field of cannabis.