While many of Missouri’s cannabis industry operators have been operational for a significant period of time, more come online each week. Additionally, many of Missouri’s already operational medical marijuana licensees are beginning to expand their footprint, which means an increase in demand for labor.

The labor force has changed in recent years. During and after the pandemic many workers faced challenges and realized that they were not satisfied in their current employment setting. With cannabis a new and growing industry in Missouri, many prospective employees have begun to seek an opportunity to bring their skillset and passion to the industry.

There is no shortage of interested workers looking for positions in cannabis, but some job seekers aren’t sure where to begin.

Where to look?

Indeed has become a hotspot for cannabis companies to post job listings, as it is one of the more cannabis-friendly employment platforms.

Outside of Indeed, job seekers would benefit from following operators on social media channels as several companies have started posting their open positions on their social media pages and feeds.  Speaking of social media, LinkedIn is better resource in the industry than most give it credit for. A relaxed policy toward open and creative discussion about cannabis and cannabis business has made LinkedIn a landing spot for workers and industry professionals. In turn many post about open positions in their company or network.
The state’s largest cannabis trade association, MoCannTrade hosts a page where members can post open positions.
There are also staffing agencies that work actively in the cannabis industry in Missouri. Both Se7en Staffing and StaffedUp have been active participants in the Missouri cannabis industry since its inception.
For potential employees looking to enrich their knowledge base, Missouri has three cannabis learning programs through accredited higher learning institutions. Saint Louis University offers a Cannabis Science and Operations, Certificate,  Northwest Missouri State University currently offers 4 different cannabis certificate programs, and Jefferson College offers Cannabis Cultivation and Dispensary Agent training programs.

For industry participants, a deep talent pool is something other industries often strive for – and currently, most industries have a substantial shortage of applicants. For businesses, having dozens to hundreds of applicants for open positions allows employers to be selective beyond normal qualifications.

Employers are looking for a good fit.

Working in cannabis often sounds much more glamorous than it is. In dispensaries, the work and environment is not dissimilar to other retail environments in most ways. But the differences are paramount to the work. Medical marijuana is a highly regulated industry and operators are seeking applicants who understand compliance. A passion for cannabis and a knowledge base is great – but the ability to follow procedure, an attention to detail, and understanding things like inventory control are attention grabbers for prospective employers.

The work in cultivation and manufacturing facilities is not easy. Cannabis cultivation is another form of agriculture and is labor-intensive. Potential employees burn out quickly if they don’t understand the scope of work. But watching your work grow and blossom is a truly rewarding experience for those who have a passion for plants.

Employers are making an investment.

Aside from the investment of salary or potential benefits, the cost of training an employee for the highly regulated cannabis market is often much larger than that for other industries. With special attention being paid to compliance and regulation, training can be intensive and costly.  For potential employees demonstrating a knowledge base and understanding of the job type and responsibilities signals to employers that a candidate is lower risk.

Like any other industry or workplace, employers do not expect prospective employees to walk in the door fully understanding how their operation works. There are policies, procedures, training, and educational programs that are designed to help educate and enrich new hires and prepare them for their position. What employers are looking for is an employee who fits in with their company and culture, understands their job type and responsibilities, and represents a low-risk investment.

 

 

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