At Kantoka, we’re all about empowering Canadians and cannabis consumers to consider a career in the growing cannabis industry.
Opportunities in cannabis have been growing steadily, leading up to and following legalization. In 2016, only 1,500 people were working in the cannabis industry in Canada, growing only to 2,500 in 2017. Come October 17, 2018, jobs in cannabis exploded, with a reported 9,200 people working in cannabis industry roles come legalization year, and increased to 10,400 just one month after legalization day. This number is only continuing to grow in Canada as opportunities to work for Licensed Producers, retail stores, and ancillary services within the industry continue to crop up.
Statistics Canada reported that the average hourly wage for employees in cannabis-related jobs was $29.58, higher than the national average of $27.03. This may not seem like a huge increase per hour, but it certainly adds up when it comes to calculating an annual salary.
Curious about some of the job areas in cannabis? We’ve prepared an overview here for you of some of the roles cannabis companies are hiring in, as well as some of the ways individuals are choosing to go entrepreneurial in cannabis.
Those who have a passion for horticulture and growing plants are finding niche opportunities to grow some of the most exciting cultivars through Health Canada’s Licensed Producers (LP’s).
According to Statistics Canada, 58% of Canada’s cannabis jobs are in the cultivation side. These jobs encompass Master Grower, Director of Cultivation, Cultivation Supervisor, and Trimmers.
Being a Master Grower isn’t just for anyone; these are the individuals in cannabis that have been growing for years, hunting for phenotypes and genetics, and creating some of the most unique strains that Canadian cannabis is yet to see.
According to some of our sources, Cannabis Cultivators can make into the six figures annually!
With Health Canada’s manufacturing, labeling, testing, and quality assurance processes being of such high importance, it’s the role of the Quality Assurance Manager to ensure all processes within a Licensed Producer are 100% compliant. This includes running audits on different processes and making adjustments to processes when compliance may be compromised.
These individuals must have extensive attention to detail to ensure that their I’s are dotted, and T’s are crossed, as there is zero room for error when it comes to Quality Assurance within cannabis manufacturing.
Packaging & Production
Those who have a background in Food Safety and Handling as well as Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) will likely have an easier time transitioning into roles in packaging and production than those without these specific experiences.
That being said, the cannabis packaging and production industry for the adult-use market is relatively new, and there is room for growth and learning for anyone who gets in on the game early.
Packaging and production require strict adherence to the labeling requirements enforced by Health Canada. If you look at your legal cannabis label, you’ll see there are extensive details that go into the label such as packaging date and cannabinoid profile. You’ll also notice that all cannabis packaging is child-proof (and some would argue adult-proof!), which is all the work of the packaging and production departments at Licensed Producers.
You’re likely seeing legal stores crop up around your neighbourhood, city, or in nearby municipalities that are staffed with some of the most knowledgeable and customer-service oriented people in the industry.
Roles within Cannabis Retail Stores (CRS) include Store Management, Compliance Management, Education Manager, and most common: Budtender. These are the individuals responsible for educating the consumer on available products and also dispensing the products to complete the sales process.
Most Canadian provinces require a provincial certification (eg. in B.C. it’s the B.C. Cannabis Worker Security Verification, for Alberta, it’s SellSafe, etc.), as well as in-store training for budtenders so they can be knowledgeable and responsible stewards of the mighty plant.
Marketing & Sales
Those who have experience within marketing and sales, or are new to the cannabis industry entirely have their work cut out for them: marketing and selling in compliance with The Cannabis Act.
Take a look at The Cannabis Act, specifically Subsection 17 which restricts cannabis promotion “by presenting it or any of its brand elements in a manner that associates it or the brand element with, or evokes a positive or negative emotion about or image of, a way of life such as one that includes glamour, recreation, excitement, vitality, risk or daring.”
Basically what Health Canada is saying is that you can’t talk about cannabis directly. Confusing right? This is why thousands of marketers have gone green and have turned their talents and focus wholly on marketing for the cannabis industry.
For new marketing grads, or those just starting in their marketing career, getting into the marketing and sales side of cannabis is an excellent way to focus what you know, and challenge yourself through creative marketing techniques and testing new ideas.
Interested in Transitioning to Cannabis?
Cannabis is an ever-growing, ever-evolving field in Canada. The reality is, though, that we haven’t as a nation quite perfected the ways of legal cannabis. It’s still a work in progress. It’s for these reasons that cannabis needs new talent infusions: new ideas, perspectives, and knowledge sets to bring to an industry that can use a set of skilled and knowledgeable eyes.
Stay tuned to Kantoka’s social media (@shopkantoka on Instagram) and to our website as we release more helpful articles on how to break into the cannabis industry.
Watch for the launch of Kantoka Pro, which is a one-stop-shop for linking the talents of a qualified candidate pool to available employment opportunities within the legal cannabis space.
If you have a passion for cannabis, a dedication to helping yourself develop in a new professional area, and want to try something new, truly, the cannabis industry has something to offer everyone brave enough to take the leap