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Laid off? Try the cannabis industry

by Ana Lopez
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As more states legalize cannabis and new marijuana markets expand, industry hiring remains strong. A new study of the Cannabis Teaman executive search and staffing firm, estimates there will be about 108,000 new cannabis jobs by 2023.

Whether you have a PhD or a previous possession conviction, you should be able to find a good fit with the broad spectrum of opportunities in the industry. Like any industry, it requires executives, calculators, programmers, marketers, and salespeople, as well as support service providers such as lawyers and public relations specialists. But beyond that, plant biologists, chemists, farmers, food and beverage experts, horticulturists and first-line budtenders with personal product experience are just a few of the other specialists in high demand.

According to the report, the three main areas in the industry, growing, testing and retail, are all hiring. There are also opportunities for suppliers in these areas, including vendors of farm equipment and lighting, chemical analysis equipment and merchandising supplies.

Efficiently growing high-quality marijuana on a large scale is one of the highest-paying jobs, with cultivation vice presidents earning an average of $256,300 a year. Chief Financial Officers are also in high demand. Businesses need closely managed and transparent finances, and the highly regulated cannabis industry requires extra attention to detail.

Branding and marketing are perhaps among the most important functions in cannabis. Each new state that legalizes the substance provides a wide open marketplace for companies looking to build brand awareness and share customer opinions. The lack of federal legalization means no national brands have emerged yet. At this point, each state has specific restrictions on how, when, and where cannabis can be advertised, so specific expertise is a must in all areas of this new industry.

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