The Green Rush

The cannabis industry has been on a roll in recent years, with widespread legalization for medical and recreational use driving strong growth and demand for skilled professionals. However, as we move into 2023, the industry may face some challenges, including a potential market readjustment and the effects of the ongoing recession. In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at the state of cannabis recruiting in 2022 and what to expect in the coming year with a call to action for deeper partnerships, more collaboration, and a need for humility.

One of the most significant developments in the cannabis industry in 2022 has been the continued legalization of marijuana for both medical and recreational use. I remember at the start of “peak COVID” season in mid 2020, cannabis began to see its first noticeable increase in consumption from the “stay at home” orders and need for “essential businesses” to stay open. As orders were set to WFH, I heard first-hand stories of more and more products being sold out on shelves at flagship stores all around Colorado—with record sales figures following. Everyone was consuming! The spotlight on the market would lead to exciting conversations with local and national non-cannabis leaders in their respective industry, asking me weekly about the opportunities in our cannabis space. CPG – Retail – Manufacturing – Food and Beverage, just to name a few of the markets that the influx of new talent would come from.

As more and more states pass laws allowing for the legal sale of marijuana, the demand for professionals with expertise in the field continues to soar, including relocating talent across the nation. The influx of these new positions has been geared towards new markets out East looking for trusted talent in cultivation, extraction, product development, compliance, and retail, just to name a few. I began to see a pattern with companies looking for talent with heavy cannabis experience again. Operators cannot take chances in new markets and are seeking talent to “hit the ground running” to ensure no dollar of revenue is left behind due to any “learning curves.”

Partnerships are Key

How do you ensure that your operation has the right people in place, especially in this period of recession, to operate efficiently and effectively? Now more than ever, companies seeking talent do not only need an external partner to help connect them, but also to act as a trusted advisor to help navigate this new landscape. Decision-makers today need to make tough choices that either reduce costs, increase revenue, or both. Not only can agencies introduce you to the right people for key positions, but we’re also ready to act more broadly than just offering a pool of talent. We believe that the more connections to partners and resources we can provide, the more valuable we are to your organization—both now and in the years to come.

The Waves to Come

As we move into 2023, the industry may face some headwinds. There are concerns that the ongoing recession could lead to a slowdown in the growth of the cannabis market, as consumers may be less willing to spend money on non-essential items like marijuana. Additionally, there is the potential for a market readjustment as the industry matures and becomes more competitive, with some companies potentially consolidating or even going out of business.

Despite these challenges, the cannabis industry is still a promising field for professionals with the right skills and experience. There will likely continue to be strong demand for experienced cultivators, extractors, and product developers, as well as sales and marketing professionals who can help companies navigate the competitive landscape. Non-cannabis professionals should not fear the difficulty of merging into this industry. Your years of experience and talent is equally sought out by operators who would like to scale their businesses.

Big Brother is Finally Listening

As the industry continues to evolve and mature, there will be many opportunities for ambitious professionals to advance their careers. We’ve now seen that many current state & federal legislative bodies are beginning to shed more positive light on our industry. Positive momentum continues to grow with Biden’s most recent signing of the Marijuana and Cannabidiol Research Act.

The cannabis industry is still relatively new, with plenty of opportunities to make a name for yourself and establish yourself as a thought leader in the field. My best advice is for candidates to stay close to firms they would like to work with, and for companies to gauge which partners are offering them the greatest value in this economic time.