Up in smoke: Marijuana workers need further training as more states legalize
- As more states move to legalize the growing and manufacturing of marijuana, there's a shortage of workers who have the right skills and knowledge, Chief Learning Officer reports. Eight states have passed laws permitting the recreational use of marijuana among adults, meaning the industry's growth has been rapid in these areas.
- According to a report from cannabis industry market firm, New Frontier Data, the industry is expected to create jobs for more than a quarter million people by the year 2020. A report published in "Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research" found that only 55% of employees who work at authorized dispensaries have ever been trained, and only 20% of those have any background in medical or scientific training. This can lead to safety risks and overall poor customer experiences, driving profits down.
- To help overcome skill gaps, agencies like HempStaff, which perform medical marijuana recruitment and dispensary training classes, have created mandatory training programs for incoming workers. They hire trainers who have the right scientific background and have been training for at least five years.
The medical marijuana industry is booming, and several states, including Colorado, have recently ramped up efforts to provide the training needed to ensure safe production of this in-demand substance.
As with other drugs, there needs to be certain standards of safety in place to protect consumers, including regulations that impact associated jobs that go along with this emerging industry. There will be a need for thousands of customer service and sales representatives to deal with the influx of demand. As more dispensaries are formed, competition for product will soar and there will be a need for more business and marketing savvy talent to cover these areas.
In an industry that is expected to grow faster than manufacturing, companies must be willing to develop standards of training and management that will set the foundation for future generations. If done right, it could be an example for other industries to follow.
- Chief Learning Officer Marijuana Workers in Need of Higher Learning
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