Must-Haves for Stakeholders in the Growing Cannabis Industry

Must-Haves for Stakeholders in the Growing Cannabis Industry

by Carl Koebel​, Regional Director of Recruiting, Goodwin Recruiting 

The cannabis industry is young, diverse, and quickly gaining momentum for both medical cannabis and adult-use (recreational) in the U.S and globally.  Radical growth is driving critical initiatives for organizations, professionals, and job seekers in this multi-billion dollar industry that already has roots in the healthcare, pharmaceutical, consumer goods, agriculture, insurance, legal, and technology industries.

The three foremost initiatives for company success in the cannabis industry are:

  1. Stay current on fast-evolving industry laws, advancements, and cannabis science education.
  2. Make sure the right professionals are in place for the road ahead.
  3. Know how and where to find top talent for a range of industry positions.

The future is here in force.

I recently represented Goodwin Recruiting in our sponsorship of the 2021 Cannabis Science + Therapeutics Provider Education Forum. CannabizMD is a globally recognized medical cannabis education and consulting enterprise whose mission is to help fill the void of cannabis science and policy education for safe access to medical cannabis and the delivery of quality patient care.

The Forum was a resource for U.S.-based and global market physicians, advanced practice providers, and medical cannabis industry professionals focused on the scientific and therapeutic use of medical cannabis, as well as regulatory issues relevant to clinical practice and research, and of course, the future of the medical cannabis industry.

It’s going to take a growing universe of new cannabis positions, knowledgeable professionals, and continued involvement from participants in every industry sector.

Supporting industry advancement with expertise and recruitment

Through our partnership with CannabizMD, Goodwin Recruiting is creating bonds with top industry stakeholders. There is a growing global ecosystem of medical cannabis, including company owners/operators, healthcare providers, regulators, researchers, scientists, policy influencers, and ancillary service providers.

Our growing industry alliances, combined with 22 years’ experience in the recruitment industry, give our cannabis team the insight and reach to present the most qualified candidates for today’s hiring employers. Cannabis industry positions we fill include C-suite executives, human resources professionals, CPAs, operators, managers, and specialists across numerous functionalities, from policy to law, compliance, accounting, finance, science, technology, marketing, sales, training, and more:

  • Master Grower/Director of Cultivation
  • Cultivation Manager
  • Extraction and Process Manager
  • Extraction Technician
  • Lab Technician
  • Testing Laboratory Manager
  • Chemist
  • Botanist
  • Biologist
  • Horticulturist
  • Distribution Manager
  • Dispensary Tech (Agent)
  • Dispensary Manager
  • Director of Operations
  • Supply Chain Manager
  • Sales Manager
  • Marketing Manager
  • Accounting Manager
  • C-suite
  • Human Resources Manager
  • Security
  • Legal and Compliance
  • Administrative
  • Consultants

While there are numerous executive, managerial, scientific, and technical roles to be filled, much of the action in the industry takes place in the dispensaries between customers/patients and dispensary attendants.

Green Entrepreneur cites the following as among the most in-demand skill sets and roles:

  1. Retail management
  2. Manufacturing facility/operations management
  3. Sales and marketing
  4. Accounting
  5. Cannabis-related training

The industry is evolving, expanding, and maturing, and so are the many new positions to be filled and opportunities for professional development.

Fast facts about the industry

While industry growth scales new heights in the blink of an eye, here are a few recent statistics:

  • Legal cannabis is the fastest-growing American industry, according to the Leafly Jobs Report 2021, now supporting more than 321,000 full-time equivalent (FTE) jobs. Even in 2020, with the pandemic, rampant unemployment, and an economic recession, the U.S. legal cannabis industry added 77,300 full-time jobs – a 32% year-over-year job growth.
  • While cannabis is still illegal under federal law, legalization efforts have greatly expanded since California legalized medical cannabis use 25 years ago. The National Law Review reported in September 2021 that 47 states, four U.S. territories, and the District of Columbia have legalized cannabis in some form, whether they decriminalize production, allow uses limited to cannabidiol (CBD, as in oils, topicals, tinctures, edibles) or hemp, or it is as expansive as permitting THC-containing cannabis for medical use, adult-use or both.
  • Sales of legal cannabis grew nearly 60 percent to $19 billion in 2020 and are expected to balloon to $41 billion by 2025, according to Wall Street research firm Cowen.
  • The U.S. cannabis industry will generate $85 billion in sales in 2030.

There is much work to be done, and cannabis jobs must fill the bill.

From seed-to-sale: As the industry grows, strict adherence must be paid to every step of the manufacturing process to comply with government regulations. As emphasized in the recent CannabizMD Cannabis Science + Therapeutics Provider Education Forum, the industry must establish good manufacturing practices (GMP), self-regulate with compliance to ensure affordable and uniform production, and carve out and provide a framework for federal legislation.

Lending optimism: Industry stakeholders are keeping a close eye on the status of the Safe Banking Act, which, if it becomes law, will likely “open up funding opportunities for cannabis businesses and allow them to establish long-term relationships with banking partners in states where cannabis has been legalized for recreational or medical use.”

Talent matters: While regulatory and banking obstacles exist, the industry will keep growing at warp speed. Goodwin Recruiting fully supports growth, including CannabizMD’s firm stance that medical cannabis industry professionals must be at the table in developing federal policy with lawmakers. And we strongly concur with the Economic Policy Institute that legalization offers a chance to make the cannabis industry a model of good jobs if workers have a voice.

Cannabis recruitment specialists

As mentioned, it is essential for cannabis companies to onboard the right talent. Goodwin Recruiting’s cannabis recruiting team has a solid pulse on hiring trends and needs, and an extensive network of job seekers looking to enter the industry, move up, or make lateral moves. Whether you are a cultivator, processor, healthcare provider, retailer, or ancillary service provider, a partnership with Goodwin Recruiting will attract top talent to help you drive your business forward.