High times for medical marijuana job seekers

A pot full of jobs in the marijuana industry is up for grabs

Photo by Emelie Peacock
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Reported by Duncan Anderson

Alejandro Arce displays some of the strains of marijuana for sale at Marpole based dispensary Erbachay. Photo by: Emelie Peacock
Alejandro Arce displays some of the strains of marijuana for sale at Marpole-based dispensary Erbachay Health Centers. Photo by Emelie Peacock.

The medical marijuana industry is actively hiring all types of professionals, yet stigma and a lack of legal clarity may lead some to pass up these opportunities.

As students graduate and look for work, the local cannabis industry is hiring client care specialists, marketers, writers, nurses, business managers and entrepreneurs. While the jobs are there, most dispensaries operate in a precarious existence and are often unlicensed. Legal uncertainty, along with stigma, may prevent some from entering the industry.

Marijuana is becoming more commonly accepted to speak about at universities, yet Alejandro Arce said stigma still exists for people trying to enter this growing field. Arce, an employee at Marpole-based dispensary Erbachay Health Centers who also organizes a Meetup group for cannabis professionals, sees potential for many types of professions within the field.

“If you can have a bit of the fortitude and long- term vision, this industry is going to need accountants, marketers and lawyers,” Arce said.

Madeleine Robichaud, Langara College environmental geography student also said it is normalizing and with so much money in the industry, she likened it to the Silicon Valley tech boom.

“It comes across as an entrepreneurial job,” Robichaud said. “It is kind of up to you to take it upon yourself to enter the industry.”

While there were no representatives from the cannabis industry at Langara College’s March 13-17 Co-op & Career Week, organizers were not opposed to these companies advertising to students as long as they were legal.

“Nobody paid money for them to be at the career fair,” said Heather Workman, chair of the Co-op & Career Development Centre. “We would check to make sure they are operating legally if we were approached, and it wouldn’t be an issue.”

Arce said if the industry continues to grow at the pace it is now, and is fully legalized this year, there are long-term benefits to working in the industry.

“Right now, the people coming into the industry have the benefit of learning, being the teachers and helping transition society,” Arce said. “Now is the moment where you have to make the investment.”

Screenshot of sample of the jobs in the marijuana industry that are posted on a recruitment site

 

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