Stoners across the state rejoiced most likely from the comfort of their couches when Colorado became the country’s first state to legalize recreational marijuana. And when dispensaries started popping up all across Denver, potheads were both elated and inspired.
To escape the omnipresent stereotype of being a lazy burnout, cannabis connoisseurs were now motivated to get a job; and where else would they look for employment than at a marijuana dispensary?
According to the Denver’s Marijuana Industry Group, marijuana legalization brought around 2,000 jobs to the state after the program was up and running. That brings the total count for marijuana-related employment in Colorado up to about 10,000.
Some of these jobs include:
- Edible creator
- Glass merchant
- Seed harvester
For dispensary-specific jobs, thousands of applicants have submitted resumes in hopes of filling positions as budtenders, extractors, and shop security.
But even with the rapidly growing industry, it’s been difficult for many pot enthusiasts to simply get a job interview. There has been an overwhelming number of applicants all excited to use their cannabis knowledge to win the same limited number of dispensary jobs.
To give you an edge over the rest of the applicant pool, here are a few tips on getting your foot in the door at a Denver dispensary.
In accordance with state mandate, any individual who works in a licensed retail facility must obtain a retail occupational license through the Marijuana Enforcement Division.
To apply for a license, you will undergo a background check and fingerprinting. As listed on the MED website, occupational license statutory requirements include:
- Applicants must be Colorado residents, age 21 years or older
- Applicants may not have any controlled substance related offenses or felony convictions within the last 10 years
- Applicants may not be a law enforcement officers or employees of a local state licensing authority
The application fee for a retail badge is $150 and is valid for one year. However, retail occupational licenses are invalid within the medical marijuana industry. You must obtain a separate license to work in medical marijuana facilities.
For more information on licensing, visit the MED website.
Know Your Stuff
Working in the marijuana industry, you need to be familiar with all the different lingo, cultural expectations, horticulture concepts, and state laws.
Aside from knowing the difference between sativa and indica strains, can you suggest a specific strain for an individual looking for a specific effect? How many cannabinoids can you identify? Can you explain the significance of trichome colors to consumer? Not only do you need exceptional customer service skills, you need a deep understanding of the product you’re working with so you can deliver proper treatment recommendations and dosing instructions.
Having a basic knowledge of Denver marijuana regulations and limitations will also set you apart among other applicants. You should be able to speak confidently about current state laws.
Often, dispensaries are the first places people go with questions about legalization. And since the industry laws are constantly changing, it’s important to stay up to date so you’re providing accurate information and not breaking any laws yourself.
At any business, employers need to be able to trust their employees. In an industry where the product is still technically illegal, it’s critical for businesses to employ people who are trustworthy.
Many Denver dispensary owners have already taken legal and financial risks just by opening up shop. They need to protect their investment and success by ensuring their employees are responsible and scrupulous rule followers.
Establish a track record of dependability and motivation by volunteering for Denver-based marijuana advocacy groups. Being proactive and getting involved in your community, both on a local and national level, demonstrates your dedication to the cause and your reliability.
Landing a job in a Denver dispensary might simply come down to being at the right place at the right time. Just like with any industry, it’s all about who you know. Network with other industry professionals so you can be the first to hear when dispensaries are hiring.
Hopefully these tips will help set you apart from all the other job hunters. Good luck!