How to Get a Job in the Los Angeles Marijuana Industry

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It’s official: California is expected to more than double the value of the state’s legal marijuana trade in next few years, and that is no small feat. Pioneering the largest regulated market in the current world is a massive undertaking, requiring political lobbyists, impassioned residents, and hundreds of local California governments, state agencies, or committees with the ultimate goal of maintaining public health and the integrity of voter trust.



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It doesn’t take a six grader to realize the cause and effect here — more gets sold means more needs to be produced means more needs to be supplied and this is where we are now — preparing.

More people are interested in cannabis jobs than ever and if you are one of these lucky souls curious how to get a job in the Los Angeles marijuana industry – the largest single-city marijuana market in the U.S. – you are not alone. The process, however, has remained somewhat elusive and confusing, kept in the peripheral of legalization excitement.

In this article we discuss all we know about getting hired in the Los Angeles cannabis industry, from worker licensing information, the potential for fees relating to background check procedures, and even some tips for getting hired.

Research In Pursuit Of A Greener Future

The first and most important opportunity any would-be cannabis worker should seek out is more plant knowledge. If you don’t use the plant or its products, none to worry – you are not required to work around it.

Nonetheless, knowledge, confidence, and understanding of the varieties of marijuana strains, products, and consumption methods are some of the most impactful ways to show you are a credible applicant when looking how to find a job in the Los Angeles marijuana industry.

Pursuing a better understanding of marijuana, from the effects attributed to it to the news surrounding it, can come from hands-on research, news reports, online forums, blogs, or message boards. Realistically, it does not matter so long as you understand the information in full accuracy.

Additionally, it is not enough to research the product alone. Knowing what strains have specific cannabinoids and their respective flavor profiles are one type of research, another comes from deciding what sort of environment you’d like to work in.

Do you like sales and find the concept of pairing people with pot entertaining? Do you enjoy gardening? How about cooking? What about law, advertising, and consumer research? Do you have a passion for chemistry? How about engineering? How about marijuana extracts?

The point is, it is easy to let the idea of working with marijuana become limited by the peculiar federal legal positioning; however, the industry is not confined to the roles of dispensary agent, grower, or product packager.

All the same business roles seen in traditional industries, from CEO to accountant to human resources manager and production supervisor are becoming more and more necessary AND are increasingly less risky.

As a testament to this, under the Trump Administration, both Colorado and California have proposed sanctuary laws limiting local authorities from aiding in federal marijuana investigations, making it more of a federal budget stretch to crackdown where it has been legalized.

State Requirements

Despite marijuana sales being done in a legal, regulated market, for now navigating how to get a job in the Los Angeles marijuana industry requires each and every applicant to comply with the hiring requirements of the state.

As the regulations for businesses have yet to be crafted fully for the recreational industry, the state requirements for employees have not yet been fully disclosed. So instead, we will be taking a look at how the medical industry has been taking care of employee onboarding and training.

The proposed medical legislation from April 2017 seems to indicate the “licensee” as the governor of personal badges, background requirements, and any other cost associated with training. All fines for misconduct, after all, are liable to the business owner under the state law, not individual employees (in most cases) typically a dispensary is required to issue their employees a badge with their photo ID on it.

All employees must be at least 21 if they want to transport the drug, must do a basic training program, again provided by the dispensary or cooperative.

Additionally, in March of 2017, the city of Los Angeles passed Measure M, which would change the Proposition D-era rules and allow a logical local tax structure and license system in anticipation of the recreational green rush.

At this time learning how you find a job in the Los Angeles marijuana industry does not require fees or annual renewals, which is in contrast of Colorado and Oregon, which is in contrast to New York who uses pharmacists at their dispensaries.

In other states, the background check done on employees excludes many of those with drug crimes, unless they were after a certain period of time from now or any individual with a felony. Some states only allow state residents to work under the state marijuana law while others are happy for the help.

Get Swept Up in the Green Rush!

Figuring out how to get a job in the Los Angeles marijuana industry is unclear for two reasons:

First, state regulators, legal committees, and safety councils have not made their final resolutions, slowing the process of getting more licensed producers, retailers, manufacturers, etc..

Second, the massive upside growth in the marijuana market is stupendously attractive, but, like any other career, really do some research and decide if you can do what you want in the industry. For example, I like marijuana, I study marketing, and I enjoy writing – blogging fits far better than sales. Do your research, try the products, and decided where you want to be.

Pro-tip: Interviewers want you to be their candidate as much as you, so be yourself. The formal situation is a tolerable nuisance for everyone.