Working in the cannabis industry is not for the faint of heart
Working in the cannabis industry has forced me to learn things, and looking back, there are things I should have known before I started working in the cannabis industry. The already uncertain competitive landscape backed by a pandemic has made the industry increasingly difficult for businesses and business owners to navigate. If I had known (famous last words), I wouldn’t have felt like I needed to rush in and carve a space for myself.
With four years of legalization history behind us, we are slowly entering a post-pandemic new era of cannabis legalization; the end of many companies will see the birth of many new companies and opportunities. So here are 7 things to know before taking the plunge into the cannabis industry.
1. Working in cannabis doesn’t mean you get free weed
Even if we did, we wouldn’t tell you. Cannabis is under completely separate rules and regulations. So it would be entirely illegal for businesses to do so. The cannabis industry doesn’t have the same privileges as other controlled substance industries like alcohol. Of course, some sectors may require specific individuals like cannabis connoisseurs who review, test and consume cannabis professionally to share information regarding certain strains as consumer data. This may give them access to cannabis and products free of charge.
However, legally, the industry cannot provide free cannabis. I get that assumption all the time! I hate to break it to you, but I only wish that were true.
2. You don’t need to know how to grow weed
It’s a common misconception that the only job available in the cannabis industry is growing and cultivating weed. Of course, this is an incredibly lucrative sector within the industry. However, the cannabis industry is like any other industry that requires production, cultivation, packaging, sales, marketing and advertising. This means there’s a massive market for jobs and positions that are all above board.
3. Working in cannabis doesn’t make you a drug dealer
Of course, the industry needs to thrive by selling cannabis-based products direct to consumers. However, this doesn’t make you a drug dealer. Cannabis is a giant umbrella that covers a lot of ground with direct-to-consumer products; selling the plant is just the tip of the iceberg, even though it all starts with the growth and cultivation of cannabis.
However, its expansion into industry sub-sectors goes further and broader than any industry; it’s safe to say cannabis is an industry that encompasses all facets of daily life and more for consumers.
4. Cannabis is still a new and fast-changing industry, with lots of changes still to come
The legal cannabis industry is in its infancy, with many sudden changes that can either help the industry grow or stunt it; usually, it’s the latter. However, there are only several countries in the world that have legalized recreational cannabis. Canada is the only G7 country to do so, making it incredibly challenging to know how our government can and should navigate this space.
The Canadian cannabis industry is making a lot of mistakes. Still, these mistakes help other countries on track to legalize recreational cannabis to avoid the mistakes and setbacks we’ve made. It may take another 10-20 years before the Canadian cannabis industry fully settles into the economy before anyone will begin seeing investment returns.
This learning lesson was probably the most obvious but most challenging to digest. Nobody saw how quickly the cannabis industry exploded, and no one saw how the Government of Canada would directly affect the explosion of the industry. And because of this explosion, a business is all the rage one day, and they’re never to be heard from again the next. This was the one thing I wish I had known before I took the plunge into the cannabis industry.
5. Cannabis stocks will not make you rich
At least not yet, or right away. Like the last point, the Canadian cannabis industry hasn’t fully settled into the economy. However, cannabis stocks can be incredibly lucrative, like any stock in question. Anyone interested in trading or bulking up their investment portfolios should not ignore the opportunities of cannabis stocks.
The fact is cannabis stocks are generally not a get-rich-quick scheme for the time being. And working in the cannabis industry doesn’t automatically mean we know which stocks to purchase or sell. So, like anything, invest at your own risk and consult your experts before doing so.
6. Everyone working in cannabis has a new great world-changing idea that will make them rich
Most of the time, it’s not. Look, I get it; all serial entrepreneurs want to change or impact the industry or the world, for that matter, with their fantastic idea. As much as I support this and as hard as it was to admit, this is something you need to know before you work in cannabis is that it’s unfortunate to see that many ideas, business-related or not, are held back from prosperity due to the competitive and uncertain landscape of the industry.
Ideas like retail stores, products, sub-sector industry businesses, apps, and even production and cultivation companies have had to close their doors due to the unforeseen challenges of the first era of the industry.
7. You’ll get asked the oddest questions about cannabis
Do you know where to get the best strains or edibles, or have you ever tried the “XYZ” cannabis product? Or are you high every day? These sorts of questions generally come from curiosity and usually from a good place.
I can’t tell you how often I’ve been asked where to get cannabis to help me with “fill in the blanks.” It’s pretty funny that since I started working in cannabis, I’ve somehow become a cannabis witch doctor and can suddenly prescribe magic weed potions to cure or help with any remedy.
Being asked questions, no matter how weird or odd, is never a bad thing, and if I can do my best to steer the person in the right direction, then I’ve at least done my part. Most of the time, I don’t have all of the answers, if at all; however, working in the cannabis industry means that I may know someone that does, and that’s already leverage that the average person does not have.
Learn as much as you can before taking the plunge into the cannabis industry
Another thing to know about working in cannabis is that it gives you an edge, like in any industry. You just get that “in” factor that you otherwise wouldn’t if you worked in another sector.
Cannabis is a controlled substance that can be consumed for medicinal purposes. Like all medicinal-related substances, researching and consulting a health physician is crucial to making proper decisions about your consumption methods. The other thing to keep in mind for those exploring the cannabis industry is to do your research for everything. Whether you’re looking for a job or a cannabis product, the industry is in its infancy with accessibility to accurate information and data. Although we’re getting better, it’s still an incredibly new and niche space requiring much room for growth.
Let us know in the comments if you work in the cannabis industry, and share your journey and experience with us.
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