Top 5 Transferable Skills Employers Look for in the Cannabis Industry

Welcome to 2023 and IceCann, your market experts for everything Cannabis related in the industry. We’ve worked in security, maintaining strongholds of properties around the world, assisted with purchasing equipment, helped connect entrepreneurs with the right services, have helped many applicants receive their production licenses and have even helped ventures with hiring staff. We’ve been there, done that and wear the T-shirt with pride.

Now that so much has changed in the last few years, and we are no longer “sneaking” cannabis at parties, hotboxing in cars and hiding it under our beds, we find ourselves having a variety of options and types of cannabis for an array of purposes for both medicinal and recreational uses. But before we get into all that, now that it’s legalized throughout Canada and shops have popped up everywhere, it’s important to look at the top 5 transferable skills that Cannabis companies are looking for when it comes to hiring their staff. Perhaps you’ve thought of embarking into this industry as part of your career path? Let’s see if you have some of what it takes to be the ideal candidate.

Adaptability & Compliance

The industry is forever changing and if you’re the type of person that doesn’t do well with change, we don’t suggest you venturing into this industry as a career path. Since the rules seem to change on a weekly basis, it’s imperative to be compliant… or at least have a respect for it. If a Cannabis venture finds itself to be non-compliant, fines and closures of shops and production facilities are inevitable as the stores and facilities are frequently inspected to ensure that they’re following both health and government regulations. What we’re saying is… If you have a knack for being able to constantly “pivot” in your thinking and your attitude, have no issue memorizing new formulas and strains, can easily adapt to new operating rules implemented by your boss, can re-think your daily routine to accommodate for necessary changes and can keep it together when you have to redo last week’s work to be more compliant with this week’s new regulation amendments, then hold on tight and read further.

High Technical Aptitude & Inventory Management

We aren’t saying that you must be a genius, but it helps. To be honest, being able to work on a computer and cash register are fairly easy, however having the aptitude for remembering the different strains, purposes, grades etc. can be confusing and it’s important to recognize whether or not you have the ability for remembering names, numbers and benefits of each.  Other areas that are of interest for this industry are accounting and a love of numbers. This is important to consider because of the different strengths, types, flavours, methods of use, price, taxes and more. Be prepared to explain why some products are more expensive than others and why it seems that a tax is being charged on every little spec of Cannabis at the bottom of your legal stash. For those looking to be behind the scenes in a growing facility, you’ll be needing to learn the characteristics of the different plants, how to properly extract the buds/oils from them, how to operate high-end manufacturing equipment all while complying with government production and tax regulations. Maintaining strict records of inventory in either case is essential for both compliance to government regulations and to owners of the growing facilities and shops. If you’re working for a large producer, understanding technology, and having an aptitude for quick learning, become very important skills. Without proper production, there can be no inventory. Without proper inventory control, there can be no sales. Without sales…you get the point.

Time Management & Self Starter

In many smaller shops, there tends to be only one person on the floor at a time, which is why it’s important for you to be a self-starter and effectively manage your time. There’s always cleaning, calculations, sales and customer service as well as inventory management to be done on every shift.   If you’re the type of person that needs to be supervised and told which tasks need to be completed in a specific timeframe, this is probably not a great career choice for you. For those interested in working in a growing facility, being able to pick precisely the correct buds, quickly and efficiently, are paramount for success based on productivity reports on collection. It’s not enough to just show up for work, change into your scrubs and mindlessly walk through your production halls. An ideal employee walks through hallways looking for something productive they can do along the way to their station. Pick up that shoe covering that was left in the hallway, wipe that scuff mark of those nice walls. How about time management? There should be no need for a manager to wait for you at your station to ensure you’re at work on time. To really hammer home how much of a great employee you are, maybe even show up for work slightly earlier not only to ensure you’re ready for work, but also to learn about any new tasks that you can handle for that day? We’re not saying to act like you own the place, but if you have great time management skills and are a self-starter, you may just own it one day (partnerships do happen for employees).

Communication, Sales & Marketing

Cannabis companies are looking for people that are communicative in order to effectively relay any questions, concerns, thoughts and ideas in a conducive way. This holds true for both behind the scenes in the growing facilities and in the store fronts. Being able to understand the ever changing rules, changes in strains and development of new flavours and methods to ingest are all part and parcel to effective communication. If you’re looking at a career on the sales side of things, we hope that you have a smile, flair for the “upsell” of the higher quality merchandise and bundling to effectively ring up more sales. Not all people wear suits that are responsible for marketing. Effective communication, friendliness toward the customer, marketing of the higher quality and priced goods are all essential to the success of not only the store owner, but of you as a sales professional in the cannabis industry. Now we know what you must be thinking…”but I work inside of a large greenhouse, what’s sales and marketing got to do with me?” Perhaps it’s good that your reading this article, because good communication, sales and marketing skills should be part of everyone’s core skillset. Why? The reason is simple; good employees can communicate well with others, take pride in what they do, promote their employer at trade shows and to friends and always know how to sell the product they are helping to produce. If you can master this skill set, an employer will have no issue bringing you to a trade show with them. They will have no issue introducing you as a key member of their team to visitors touring your greenhouse. They will not feel the need to micromanage you for fear you may not represent the company properly. They will start to see you as an integral piece of the wheel versus the nail on the road that should be avoided.

Do you think you have what it takes?  Take a look at our list of jobs that are currently available around the globe. Make sure you check back often as new positions are posted all the time.

Catherine Lazure (CL Executive Solutions)
Catherine Lazure (CL Executive Solutions)

Catherine Lazure has 25 years as a startup entrepreneur, business owner, operations & office manager, human resources, marketing, sales, fundraising, events & conference management. She decided to offer her expertise to multiple companies instead of just one. She understands as a business owner and entrepreneur, the struggles of juggling multiple businesses, back-end administration, marketing and family life. She needed help with her business, just as you may need help with yours, however, you may not necessarily be able to afford a full time assistant or perhaps find yourself having one already that is overwhelmed and in need of some part time assistance. This inspired her to create CL Executive Solutions and offer her expertise in these areas on a piece work basis.

A passionate and dedicated philanthropist, recognized as a Humanitarian for Canada by the Global Goodwill Ambassadors for efforts with the Cancer Society, Scouts Canada, and Girl Guides of Canada, as well as for efforts, time, and dedication in co-founding and growing Warm the Heart.

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