Growing a career in the legal marijuana industry
Photo by Jonathan Wiggs/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Finding a successful career can sometimes be as simple as being in the right place at the right time. By understanding job trends and what types of positions that the workforce at large is desperate to fill, you can align your studies to build a resume that can help you to jump into those trendy “zeitgeist” jobs that will offer stability in your professional life. How many people do you know who had either got in early on the ground floor with some of the more tech-centric professional paths or who have pivoted their studies in that direction to make a complete 180-degree career change? Right now, one of the most red-hot industries coming to the Northeast will be working in the legal marijuana Industry. As many states on the West Coast like California and Colorado have been enjoying the spoils of legal marijuana for a few years now, States like Massachusetts on the East Coast are following suit with the passing a legal recreational use of the substance. With the recent news that New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is looking to pass legislation legalizing marijuana in New York State, it seems like the dominos are beginning to fall where they really count in the progression towards nationwide legalization. To give you a sense of how profitable it is projected to be, Business Insider recently predicted that legal marijuana will be a $21 billion by 2021. Keep in mind, that was well before the Cuomo has his leafy green epiphany. You can practically feel the engines revving on this new career path as wider legalization is just around the corner. So what are some of the ways that you can build your resume to jump into this new boom-career?

Working in legal marijuana 

legal marijuana

Photo: Getty Images

Make sure you have relevant experience 

As dispensaries begin to pop up in newly legalized states, these new businesses will be looking to build their staff, much like their crops, from the ground up. That means that the positions they are looking to fill run the gamut from experienced customer service employees, web developers, botanists with experience working with cannabis, and individuals who hold degrees in chemistry who will be able to work with cannabis extraction. Think of it this way, if you have an interest in working with and around weed, you will have to prove to your prospective employers that you have the goods to prove your worth and, on my next point, that you are dependable. 


Make sure that you have a squeaky clean rap sheet 

Many dispensaries, such as Vangst in Boston, require applicants to be able to pass an FBI background check and even include it on their ZipRecruiter applications, in order to see if you have any hidden felonies in your past. Because the legalization of marijuana is such a new thing in states like Massachusetts, employers need to make sure that they only hire people who are interested in the product but, just as importantly, have never been on the wrong side of the law as a result of their interests when it was outlawed. So, before applying, make sure that everything in your past has been accounted for and that no surprises will pop up during the application process.

Remember: this is a growing career

While your excitement for the possibilities of living and working in a state with legal marijuana, remember that this is a business first. When you take out the meaning behind it, you are still handing a product that is being sold for a transaction. The business will only thrive if you help it to. So keep perspective!

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