With Proposition 64’s passage and an expected explosion in the cannabis industry in California, you may be considering a career change to work at a dispensary, with a marijuana grower or in one of the many industries that will be serving cannabis-related businesses.
Here’s some advice from Julie LaCroix, a career counselor based in Newport Beach, and Juliet Murphy, an executive career coach in Tustin.
• Educate yourself on the legislation and regulations that impact the industry and stay up to date on changes.
• Join a professional association such as the National Cannabis Industry Association or Women Grow.
• Treat it as a legitimate industry. For managers, that might mean using traditional employment sites to recruit. For workers, that means being professional.
• Don’t get in it for the money. As with any job, there has to be a passion there, either for medical marijuana itself or for the particular career you’re pursuing in the industry.
• Focus on developing skills and relationships and providing value to your employer rather than simply knowing the product and market. These will transfer if the volatile industry flips or if you decide to move away from marijuana down the road.
• Be aware of the stigma, and how working in the industry might impact your status in the larger workforce. If status is something you value, that might be problematic due to the stigma that still exists over the marijuana industry.
• But don’t let fear of that stigma stop you if you’re passionate about this industry. Many other industries – from alcohol to mortgage banks – also carry some stigmas. But people manage to move in and out of these industries every day.
• Realize that industry experience is a bonus, but bringing the right skill set is more important. So even if you’ve never worked in marijuana, your experience as an account manager or security guard can apply.
This article was first published at OCRegister.com.