If you’re looking to elevate your career to new highs, a career in cannabis may be what suits you. With an industry projected to be worth $57 billion globally in just under a decade from now, the green rush is one that many are turning their eyes to with a potential for dollar signs and professional freedom and satisfaction. The cannabis industry is made of entrepreneurs who saw opportunities to thrive in a growing industry and jumped at them, whether as pioneers or new emerging entrepreneurs.
While the promise of cannabis seems almost too good to be true, any cannabis entrepreneur will tell you that working in cannabis is certainly not about just getting paid to enjoy it. Choosing to dedicate your career to cannabis means working harder than you ever have in your life, constantly being an advocate for an industry stigmatized by many, and being ready for a bit of an emotional rollercoaster ride while you find your space within this diverse industry.
Considering becoming a cannabis entrepreneur? Here are 3 critical questions to ask yourself before putting all your eggs in the proverbial cannabis basket:
- Are you ready to eat, sleep, breathe, smoke, write, email, and talk about cannabis 24/7?
Dedicating your career to cannabis rarely means being able to actually take a break from cannabis. Cannabis entrepreneurs that make the leap go from simply enjoying cannabis as a lifestyle choice, to making it the absolute focus of their time, research, energy, networking efforts, and news reading. She’s lucky if she simply just gets to sit down and enjoy a puff without having to move on to the next To-Do list item.
Simply, becoming a cannabis entrepreneur is about trading in a 9 to 5 Monday-Friday work week for a 24/7, 1 million hour work week, 8 days a week. You can never underestimate that cannabis work can be all-consuming at times. If you’re ready to make the move into cannabis, be sure you go into it with a solid self-care strategy that gives you a break from work, and cannabis, when you need it to refresh.
- Can you take the heat?
It’s not easy declaring yourself as a cannabis advocate, especially in less progressive states or countries that haven’t yet hit the same canna-acceptance status of cannabis-epicenters like California and Colorado.
“Coming out” is a pretty big process when making a career focus change. You’ll admit your enthusiasm for something that you may have tried to hide from your professional circle in the past. You’ll face criticism from people who think cannabis is just a passing fad, or the next dot.com boom doomed to die down eventually. You’ll get stigmatized, and people will look down on you if they don’t share the same views on cannabis you do.
To be in cannabis, you have to take the heat from external influences and have a strategy to let the negativity roll off your back. The great thing is, there is a wonderful community of cannabis entrepreneurs waiting to be your support, sounding board, and advisors. You can find various communities through Facebook that will connect you with like-minded people.
- Do you have something unique to offer the cannabis industry that no one is already offering?
The cannabis industry has produced some of the most impressive brands, products, technology, publications, online stores, dispensaries, smartphone applications, and websites that have elevated the industry’s image and reputation to professional status.
Service providers or cannabis ancillary services are coming out just as strong as the cultivators, manufacturers, distributors and retail sites, proving that “plant touching” is not the only way to find success in cannabis.
If you have an idea for a website, shop, service, publication, app, software, or just about anything you think the cannabis business can benefit from, you should know that there’s likely already someone out there doing it, and doing it well.
If you have a service to offer, what sets you apart from the others providing similar services. What do you offer over others that will make cannabis businesses want to enter into a service agreement with you?
If you’re a products designer, be aware of the vast collections available for cannabis accessories. It’s incredible how much innovation is happening with cannabis accessories design from vaporizers to cannabis purses to discrete accessories that you can smoke with. What makes you proprietary, innovative, and stand out in the market?
Do your research, and build an adequate business plan, with an awareness of the work of potential competitors, before you go all in.
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The Marijuana Business Daily Women & Minorities report indicated that there’d been a 10% decline of the number of women holding leadership and CEO positions between 2015 and 2017, with only 27% of cannabis companies’ CEOs being women. We need to change these statistics.
If you’ve considered some of the above points and have done some serious soul-searching, we invite you to join the movement of legal cannabis. Once you find your place and meet some of the incredible people within this community, you’ll be glad you joined us.