The cannabis sector has undoubtedly seen unprecedented growth in recent years. With stricter laws in some countries compared to others, this growth is taking place around the world. However, many challenges and benefits, especially regarding the recruitment in the cannabis industry, is accompanied by this growth.
Signs exist regarding the almost exponential development of the medical cannabis space that was seen last year, becoming less pronounced. However, significant developments are also expected, especially in the policy sphere, in the upcoming months. For example, the removal of federal cannabis prohibition in the USA is expected, as discussed by Dana Rohrabacher, which could bring an expected revival.
While many companies are going through a process of consolidation, instead of rapid growth, in recent months, the recruitment of skilled and experienced staff is still an important element of the success of the business. Hence, it is important to understand how diverse the value chain is. Despite the existence of some cannabis-specific recruitment platforms, the many different disciplines and fields that work together to drive this sector forward, are important to understand, where they must be staffed by those who excel and are driven by results.
Scientists, in some companies, are responsible for the development and cloning of seeds. The growers grow a crop, including but not limited to, specialty areas such as hydroponics systems, cannabis lighting, pest control, as well as the budtenders. The crops, once grown, are then harvested before the samples of processed forms are tested by a different and independent laboratory.
Upon approval, the cannabis is used to create medical products ranging from pills and tinctures to oils and edibles, where other businesses are involved regarding the packaging and labeling. These products are then sent to dispensaries where they are passed on to the consumer. Furthermore, another staff is involved such as lawyers in the cannabis industry, marketing professionals, logistical staff, salesmen, cannabis consultancy firms, etc.
This is a simplified version of the value chain but highlights the many different elements that are involved. For any other business, whether already established or a startup, it needs the recruitment of the right people. For both individuals that are either looking to move into the cannabis industry or the companies that are looking to fill vacancies, the issue of staffing can eventually present barriers to growth.
Hence, it is important to be aware of the rapidly changing markets (that includes the incredibly diverse range of products currently available), as well as the perception of many regarding cannabis (that includes societal perceptions of cannabis as a narcotic being the most significant barrier that the industry faces). Also, potential employees may not want to leave the relatively “safe” environment that they are in, during recruitment, to join another which is demonized in the media with an uncertain future.
Communication is important for employers, regarding the situation of their business in a rapidly evolving and innovative sector, which is why it also offers significant potential for career development and ts financial incentives. Furthermore, highlighting the legalization of the business is also important, due to the certain stigma concerning it.
The importance of transferable skills in an industry is also important to understand. Both recruiters and potential employees need to realize that many positions with requiring certain abilities and experience that have been gained somewhere else, ranging from sales to lighting, to management and leadership, to marketing and communications, and experience in good manufacturing practices (GMP).
Many experienced individuals from sectors such as agriculture and pharmaceuticals have the skills that are required to join a medical cannabis business.
Challenges posed by recruitment shouldn’t put off the employer or the prospective employee. Instead, the strengths in this space must be focused on and made innovative and adaptable, which should also be implemented in the recruitment process.