How to Get a Job in the Marijuana Industry in Portland

cannabis tours

Looking for work? What if you could advance your career in an industry you are passionate about? From growers to extraction technicians to budtenders, the cannabis scene in Portland is exploding with jobs. It’s an opportunity to enter this blossoming industry and make a difference in the world.

The process for getting a job in the cannabis industry is much like any other. It’s a rollercoaster ride, and you never know when an actual job offer is going to come. The key is to get out there as much as possible. Keep sending resumes, connecting with industry professionals, telling everyone you know that you’re in the market for a cannabis career. Expect heavy competition to land a job in the Portland area, and be prepared for a long-term effort to ultimately land that dream job working with the prized plant.

With that said, the following are some of the best ways to find a cannabis career in the marijuana industry in Portland:

Job Boards

There are plenty of cannabis-specific job boards floating around the internet. Our favorite, though we are undeniably biased, is the Leafbuyer Jobs Board! Other sites like 420careers.com and Cannabis Jobs Board are specifically geared toward employers and people seeking work in the marijuana industry. Whether you are hoping to be the manager of a retail dispensary, a marketing analyst, a software designer or a master grower, these sites cut through the noise of a typical job board and focus only on the types of careers you want. The Ganjapreneur, a cannabis business news website, has a good list of available work. Imagine being the Chief Financial Officer, a Javascript developer or the Director of Cultivation — you can find these opportunities while browsing through Ganjapreneur’s postings. Canna Recruiter is a Portland-based agency with an extensive list of job opportunities in Oregon and beyond. Candidates can sign up for free and begin applying for open positions through their laptop or smartphone.

Of course, there are also the standard job boards — Indeed, Monster, CareerBuilder and so forth. If you enter “cannabis” in the search box and select “Portland” as the location, you’ll be on your way to some exciting prospects in the Rose City. Play with the different advanced search filters and try to locate a position that fits your personal qualifications and goals. Just remember to get your resume in order and practice the art of the cover letter. It could pay off with a dream job.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is the Facebook of the professional world, and it should not be overlooked in your cannabis career search. Set up your LinkedIn profile to promote yourself as a member of the cannabis industry, with a catchy headline and a self-description that depicts your passion for the green wonder plant. Next, search the site for like-minded folks that you can network with. It never hurts to type “cannabis” into the search box on LinkedIn and check out all of the successful professionals who are making a living the 420 way. You can request to connect with these individuals and open up some dialogue about who you are and what your goals are. A quick note that says, “Hey, I noticed you are the Director of Operations for a Portland cannabis company. I would love to find out more about what you do” could reap huge rewards down the road.

Networking with cannabis professionals on LinkedIn can lead you to the people that are “good to know” in the industry. The important thing to remember is that you are also somebody “worth knowing.” So market yourself that way, connect with influencers in the industry and people that have the kind of jobs you want, ask for informational interviews via phone or Skype, and keep up the hustle until you are gainfully employed.

Industry Events and Trade Shows

There is a steady stream of cannabis industry events going on in the Portland area, and they are one of the best ways to look for employment. The human touch of in-person communication can be vastly more effective than emailing resumes and cover letters through a job board or LinkedIn. Try printing out a bunch of resumes or business cards and walking from booth to booth, talking to anyone at the event that will listen to your story. You might just strike up a conversation with someone that can help. If you want a job in cannabis, you need to stand out from the crowd. There’s no excuse to not head over to a cannabis trade show and network with other industry professionals. If they remember your name or face, you’re already a step ahead of other potential candidates for employment.

The Indo Expo is a business-to-business (B2B) event that is specifically geared toward all things marijuana. Its second annual Portland edition will be held in August 2017, and the organizers hope to exceed the inaugural event’s attendance of 4,000 cannabis enthusiasts. With over 250 exhibitors and panel discussions from breeders, growers, cannabis technology companies and more, the Indo Expo is a congregation of successful cannabis workers — the kind of group that you should surround yourself whenever the chance arises.

Another industry event is the Cannabis Science Conference. The 2017 version takes place at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland and is expected to draw more than 750 attendees. If you’re looking to enter the industry as an instrument manufacturer, lab test analyst or medical practitioner, it could be hugely beneficial to spend a few hours at the Cannabis Science Conference and meet with employees of your prospective future employers.

Investor pitch sessions are a great way to introduce yourself to venture capitalists and young startups in the cannabis industry. These are held from time to time in cities like Portland, and they are another avenue for sharing your story with successful cannabis industry workers. You could be seeing the future of the cannabis industry unfolding before your eyes, and there may be an opportunity to join an upstart company in its early stages before they revolutionize the way things are done in the world of marijuana.

Walk Into a Dispensary

While visiting your favorite Portland dispensary to pick up some fresh nugs, chat with the budtender and tell them about your lofty career goals. Perhaps the dispensary is hiring and you can get your foot in the door of the industry as a budtender. In addition, dispensaries have relationships with growers, accessory producers, and other suppliers. They might know someone that needs a new employee to run their office or analyze product tests, and you could be that person. If you are going into that dispensary anyway, there’s no reason not to add a little bit of networking into your day. Again, you never know where your first big opportunity is going to come from. You might as well make friends with anyone you see that is part of the cannabis community.

Do Your Thing

Now that you have some ideas, it’s time to polish off your resume, update your online profiles and tell everyone you know that you are actively seeking employment in the cannabis industry. This can be a long process, so it’s best to be patient and plan for a comprehensive effort that combines online searches, in-person networking, and informational interviews. The key is to make yourself seen. Speak to cannabis professionals in Portland and form relationships with influencers in the marijuana industry. As the saying goes, 90% of success is showing up. There’s no secret; you just need to go for it.