The business side of cannabis is very similar to many heavily regulated industries. Alcohol, consumer products, food, pharmaceuticals, insurance and finance all could prepare one for the kind of scrutiny from regulators they will find. Amidst these opportunities for preparedness, the entrepreneurial spirit is nonetheless vital. Industry veteran Justin Beck of Cultivation Technologies put it this way. “More than anything, entrepreneurs must be willing to adapt to change and overcome failure. These traits are common in entrepreneurs as a whole, but are absolutely vital when it comes to the cannabis industry.”
If looking for a way in, assessing your current professional space as an avenue into the cannabis industry is smart route to take. Four years ago Celeste Miranda of The Cannabis Marketing Lab did just that. Here, she brought website design, graphic design, social media, content writing, SEO, digital media marketing, email marketing, photography and social video all under one roof. She saw a great need for these services in marijuana related businesses and now concentrates solely on this field with 40 customers nationwide.
On the grow side there is a shortage of top quality “Master Growers”. Those in the traditional greenhouse flower industry have a perfect background to use in cannabis cultivation. A master grower could consult with such professionals and bring them up to speed much faster than training someone from scratch. Master growers reportedly make between $150,000 and $250,000 per year, depending upon the size of the operation. A degree in horticultural sciences will certainly be in demand as legalization moves forward.
The world of information technology also blends well with the emerging cannabis industry. Due to the heavy regulatory burden soon to fall on growers, dispensaries and delivery services, sophisticated software programs will be vital. There are many entrants in this field and they will be faced with continual staffing needs in sales and support.
Chris Husong of ClubM, an exclusive California cannabis subscription club, thinks that the right background is based upon ethics and financial experience. “We are the first wave of cannabis executives, we have to get this right” offered Husong, who came out of the financial services industry with strong community and church ties.
While there is no perfect résumé for the cannabis industry, as it evolves into increasingly professional territory, we may end up discovering that the term canna-business is actually just business.