With cannabis legalization efforts continuing to be successful in the United States, the need for skilled workers in the legal weed industry continues to grow. In a recent job report, Leafly and Whitney Economics projected that when weeds are legalized nationwide, the regulated cannabis industry could support up to 1.75 million jobs nationwide. .
The report reveals that the cannabis industry currently supports 428,059 full-time equivalent jobs in the United States. Last year was the first year that job creation in the cannabis industry surpassed 100,000 new positions. After adding 32,700 jobs in 2019 and 77,300 more in 2020, the industry added 107,059 new jobs last year.
“To put it in perspective, the entire U.S. financial sector added 145,000 jobs last year,” the report’s authors wrote. “The construction industry, from coast to coast, added 165,000 jobs.”
Put a foot in the door
But getting a job in the cannabis industry, especially in the highest paid positions in the industry, may seem out of reach to many people. The old Catch-22 of needing experience to get a job while needing a job to gain experience has baffled many job seekers. To address the issue, the vertically integrated Colorado-based cannabis firm Seed & Smith launched a new paid internship program this year and saw the graduation of its first candidate last month. The company is currently recruiting candidates for the next cohort of fellows, with classes starting in the fall.
Robbie Wroblewski, director of marketing at Seed & Smith, says the company’s internship program provides a way for candidates to earn an income while gaining knowledge and experience in one of the various job positions in the industry.
“The goal of the program is to help candidates in each department involved (cultivation, extraction, sales, logistics, and marketing) gain a knowledge base that prepares them for positions that go beyond low-level positions with little or no no previous experience in cannabis, ”Wroblewski said in an email to High times.
Seed & Smith is currently hiring for its next internship class, which will begin work in September or October. Wroblewski says the company hires mostly on college campuses, but anyone interested in a career in the cannabis industry is invited to apply. Interns may have the option of enrolling in work study programs and pursuing their professional and academic careers at the same time.
“The program lasts for three months and every place is paid,” Wroblewski said. “Every candidate is different, but we work with universities to ensure that college credits can also be obtained for internships.”
He adds that each Seed & Smith department has developed its own curriculum for interns, who spend time learning many aspects of the job and how they fit into the department and the cannabis industry in general.
First fellow celebrating graduation
Talia Sanchez-Hernandez completed her internship at Seed & Smith last month, making her the first graduate of the program. After working a couple of beginner positions in retail and cannabis cultivation, she was ready to acquire new skills and learn about other aspects of the industry. When he came to Seed & Smith to apply for a job and was told about his new internship program, he took the opportunity to advance his career.
“Gaining hands-on experience was one of the main things I try to do to work in this industry,” Sanchez-Hernandez said in a virtual interview.
“I found Seed & Smith and they did their internship, and they called me very well. I’ve always wanted to do internships,” he says. holistic medicine. Those were two things that went hand in hand with me. “
Sánchez-Hernández’s internship was on the road to extraction. During his studies, he learned several different methods for making cannabis concentrates, including extracting and distilling hydrocarbons. The program also included other steps in the manufacturing process, such as homogenization, decarboxylation, filtration, and purge, as well as best practices for smooth and safe operation of the laboratory.
“It’s a lot when you first see it, but everyone I’ve worked with has helped me a lot, a lot. Everyone is always willing to get out of the way if you need anything,” says Sanchez-Hernandez. “It’s really cool. And just being here, I learned a lot more in the lab, from science, just from practice.”
He adds that he has been eager to acquire new knowledge and skills in all the positions in the cannabis industry that he has held during his short career. But the focus on her professional development during her internship at Seed & Smith has been an experience like no other.
Now that she has graduated from the program, Sánchez-Hernández is ready for her next adventure in the regulated cannabis industry in Colorado. And his success in the internship program has made him so he doesn’t have to look far.
“Talia is our first graduate and we decided to keep her on the Seed & Smith team,” Wroblewski reports. “Given her knowledge and skills, we were able to place her in a middle management position.”
You can learn more about Seed & Smith’s cannabis practice program by emailing the company’s human resources department at firstname.lastname@example.org.