Find a local meet-up for cannabis entrepreneurs and professionals. These events can be found in large cities like Toronto and Vancouver. If you live in a small town, why not create your own meet-up for locals interested in the industry? You can connect with your town’s cannabis community using online forums like Reddit and Instagram. You may find a job helping advertise for a new “grey market” start-up or potentially shake hands with the head of Human Resources at a licensed producer. Joining or building a community around your interest is always one of the best ways to enter an industry. These events can also help you find a mentor. There are successful people that are willing to help you along your journey. A mentor can help you advance in your career and prevent you from making the same mistakes.
Leaf Toronto Networking Events (leaftoronto.com)
Women Grow Toronto (womengrow.com)
Lift Conferences Business Day (liftexpo.ca)
Kalogia, Weedmaps & Cannabis At Work
Kalogia is basically “Linked-In for the Cannabis Community”. It is a website that allows you to connect with professionals in the marijuana industry. It is a growing platform that may be extremely valuable in the future. General networking and job sites will also frequently post job openings online. Weedmaps can be used as a directory of every cannabis business based on your geo-location. The app and website also provides the contact information for all of these establishments. Cannabis At Work is a staffing agency focusing exclusively on the cannabis sector. Their website allows you to search for jobs, recruit qualified individuals and sign up for industry training courses.
Create a Personal Brand, Blog or Website
Becoming a personality and cultivating an engaged audience is increasingly valuable to cannabis corporations. Use social media to connect and build a community around yourself. Organizations will recognize that you have leverage because you can act as an employee and an online billboard. Social media influencers with large followings can become brand ambassadors and monetize through affiliations. Writing a blog and creating content can help spread your name. Even if you only have 10 readers or followers, you never know who those people might be. If the CEO of your dream company happens to read your blog or follow your channel, the return on investment was easily worth the work.
I suggest reading the book “Crush It” by Gary Vaynerchuk.
Apply Previous Experience & Knowledge
The cannabis industry is full of people who love cannabis. What the cannabis industry needs are experienced professionals who can translate their skills to marijuana ventures. If you’ve worked as an accountant your whole life but also love the herb, I have good news for you. You can continue to do what you do best in a growing industry that is making a real impact in the world. Reach out to organizations and explain how your experience can add value. The marketing aspect of cannabis will be looking to outside industries as we move towards legalization.
E-mails & Direct Messages
Your dream job is only an e-mail or DM away. Consistently reaching out to several companies every day, directly or through social media, will eventually yield results. Find organizations that you can add value to given your skills, knowledge and experience. Approach them with a value proposition and be willing to work for free to prove yourself. Remember to follow up and be persistent.
I personally got my job with Weedmaps by identifying that there was a need for Canadian-specific social media channels. I reached out with a value proposition and examples of past work. You can do the same with the organization of your choice. Find the opportunity and create your own position if needed.
Side Note: You Can Stay Legal
You don’t have to wait until legalization to find a fully legal job in the Canadian cannabis industry. Licensed producers are looking for a variety of employees ranging from trimmers to Chief Financial Officers. Cannabis clinics are always looking for qualified nurse practitioners. Ancillary services like marketing agencies and accessory producers are abundant. There will likely be more opportunity after the summer of 2018. However, there is no need to wait to start building up your resume. Those with valuable experience in the industry will have the upper hand once the market expands.