Cannabis is a booming industry here in Canada, filled with many passionate people working to develop and expand a nascent sector. Even with thousands of jobs posted on Indeed, job seekers still have difficulty getting their foot in the door.
For every entry-level cannabis role posted, hundreds of applications are received daily. So how do you set yourself apart from all the other applicants?
Having the right attitude, a strong focus on teamwork, and attention to detail are critical factors for success in the cannabis production industry.
Learn about the producers in your area
It’s important to know what you want out of your career and to research the available licensed producers. Producers can be licensed to do more than grow cannabis. They process the plant for general consumption in various forms such as concentrates, edibles and pre-rolls. They are also responsible for the safe and careful packaging of the end product.
When considering producers in your area, it is also important to determine how accessible the company is for your commute. Employers are often outside of the city centers and may not always be accessible by public transportation.
Did you know that some Licensed Producers (LPs) don’t grow cannabis at all?
That’s right! Not all producers grow cannabis. Some focus specifically on different processing methods such as creating pre-rolls, mechanical/solvent-based extractions, or making edibles as their core competencies.
Consider working for some of these specialty producers as they offer a wealth of knowledge in different areas of the industry. As a result, there are lots of opportunities to develop those niche and in-demand skills.
Never underestimate the power of the community
The cannabis industry is growing rapidly, and it’s not only about the product itself anymore. There are many job opportunities, from being a budtender to working in sales and marketing, advertising, or even being an event planner. Attending events like these will help you network and learn more about what the industry has to offer.
Some fun events in the GTHA you might want to check out:
- LIFT Expo: Typically scheduled in Toronto’s Metro Toronto Convention Centre. Canada’s first Cannabis Trade Show (established in 2016).
- O’Cannabiz: Voted the No. 1 Cannabis Event in Canada by High Canada Magazine. Their Toronto event is typically held at The International Centre.
- Cannabis WIKI: Held their first event in London, Ontario, in 2022. “Enjoy educational sessions with industry innovators, leaders, and influencers, that explore future trends and current prospects within Southwestern Ontario’s cannabis industry.”
Networking is essential in your job search. It’s a great way to demonstrate your unique skill set and experience to others in the industry. You can meet new people who are interested in the same things as you and make valuable connections. When you love what you do, networking become an easy and fun way to make genuine connections with like-minded people.
Create a killer résumé
Many skills are in demand in the cannabis production industry. Some of these might be obvious, like growing, harvesting, processing, and distributing cannabis products. You must also be able to work with people professionally, work with a sense of urgency, follow written procedures and have a fair understanding of the legal frameworks for cannabis in Ontario.
If you’re looking for cannabis jobs in Ontario, you will need a résumé showing your experience with any of these skills (as applicable) along with the highlights of your transferrable skills.
The following are transferable skills and experiences that are in demand by cannabis employers:
- writing and following procedures
- cleaning and sanitation
- working in fast-paced or regulated environments
The best way to understand which of the many skills to highlight on your résumé: reference some of the cannabis job descriptions that interest you.
Learn the skills that are needed in the Cannabis Production Industry
- Cannsell Standard, Cannsell Expert
- Admission Requirements: N/A
- Cannsell Standard is the minimum requirement to work in a cannabis retail store in Ontario, while Cannsell Expert is a deeper dive
- Cost: Basic $64.99, Expert $349.99
- Two-level Cannabis Sommelier training, dispensary management training and growing in living soil at home
- Admission Requirements: N/A
- Offered online or in person; a list of programs available for Cannabis enthusiasts and budtenders.
- Cost: Ranges from $249 to $449
- Cannabis Sommelier, Cannabis Consultant Training, Cooking with Cannabis, Extraction & Concentrates Fundamentals
- Admission Requirements: N/A
- Offered online and learn at your own pace; bundles are available if more courses are selected
- Cost: $249 per class
- Program offering content on biological and cultural practices of cannabis production, including plant nutrition, environment, lighting, climate control, pest control, and cultivar selection.
- Admission Requirements: Ontario College Diploma, Advanced Diploma, Bachelor’s Degree (or equivalent) in the areas of Horticulture, Greenhouse Technology, Agricultural Sciences, Plant Sciences, Biology or a related discipline and proof of English proficiency
- Cost: $10,500
- Admission Requirements: Must be eligible to work in Canada, unemployed or working less than 20 hours per week or in an unsteady work situation. Available to participate in full-time hours, clean criminal background check is required.
- Training includes: Health and Safety Training, Cannabis Legislation & Regulation, Cannabis Production, Quality Control & Packaging, Workplace Communication, Industry Exploration and Career Planning, Paid Industry Work Placement
- Cost: No-cost
There has never been a better time to get your foot in the door
Following the tips in this blog post, you’ll be on your way to distinguishing yourself from other applicants and landing your dream job in Canada’s booming cannabis industry.
Are you ready to take the next step?