Send your resumes in for that help!
If you’re thinking about transitioning into the cannabis industry and need expert help, Danielle Schumacher is an email away – and you’d want to connect with her. The co-founder of THC Staffing Group helps countless individuals interested in cannabis daily, and consults companies on their DEI and recruitment efforts. With the industry mostly male and white, organizations like the THC Staffing Group are what we need to effect real change. Most recently, the boutique recruitment firm teamed up with not for profit, Women of Color in Cannabis to launch a canna-careers job board and Danielle was so kind as to share a few quick tips with CannaCultureConnect for those considering a change in greenery. Before we get into this practical resource, a little more about Danielle and her agency.
THC Staffing Group grew out of a desire for a cultural and policy change that Danielle and her long-time friend, drug activist and attorney Shaleen Title shared. Danielle isn’t new to this. Fortunately, in high school she was exposed to Amnesty International, and got into human rights advocacy when she was a freshman in college. Although at that age, Danielle didn’t quite understand what “human rights activism” meant, but she knew cannabis policy reform would be her focus when learning about the War on Drugs and the prison industrial complex. After graduating and having done a lot of nonprofit work with orgs like Students for Sensible Drug Policy, Danielle moved to California full-time to work for a medical dispensary in Berkley. That experience led her to create the curriculum for the first (unaccredited) cannabis college, Oaksterdam University. So yea, she knows a thing or two.
Today, THC Staffing Group covers employment and licensing – working with many candidates and employers. They do resume reviews, to make sure you’re on point when transitioning. Although small, this agency knows the right people, and can help guide you on this career path – as long as you do the work.
WOCC CannaCareers is a vetted job board, powered by Danielle Schumacher of course, that offers office hours to assist you in your new career journey. Partnered with Quality Control Analytics, a state-approved trainer in Massachusetts – individuals also have an opportunity to get a state certification through workforce training conducted by scientist Ashley Boucher. As you may remember, WoCC is a powerful organization that works to ensure women and BIPOC folks are treated with respek in this game. One time for the gworls doing it!
You can start your journey by visiting Wocc.World to see this incredible resource.
The THC Staffing Group and WoCC collab has also birthed an ongoing webinar series about what jobs are available and what steps to take in the industry. The first session launches February 6th, and covers compliance. (A lot of legal work there.) March is cultivation, April is working in retail, and May is manufacturing.
As a preview, THC Staffing dropped some gems for those interested in taking their talents to the cannabis industry. Here are a few tips to get you started:
Think about what you bring to the table
Danielle says to asses your skills and goals. Ask yourself what skills do you already have that you want to market? What are you best at? Once you realize what you want to showcase and what you’d prefer to keep to yourself, decide what skills you want to sharpen. You can always ask someone you trust for a second opinion.
Do your due diligence
RESEARCH! Whether about sectors, supply chain vs. ancillary business, government and hemp regulations – all of it. Dive through the list of Marijuana Trade Associations to find organizations who market safe and responsible plant-touching leaders. Use job boards such as WoCC CannaCareers, Glassdoor, etc to explore pay rates and company culture.
Although the industry is emerging in popularity, the more skills you have matters. Accredited programs at community colleges and state-approved certifications will for sure give you a leg up, but if you don’t have access to one, understanding the basic history of the War on Drugs should be your start regardless. Social equity, diversity & inclusion are huge problem areas in the industry. Whatever you decide to do, develop the hard skills to ultimately champion efforts of equality.
Cannabis or not, this is necessary. Whether virtual or in person, connections are everything. It’s not about how many people you know, but the character of those individuals. Quality over quantity. There are plenty opportunities to engage with others, whether through social media, events, campaigns, etc. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. Clubhouse at your own risk.
Find a mentor
1:1 or through a group, build a relationship with someone who has already accomplished goals you’re looking to reach and learn from them. Figure out your work trade and how to approach these busy entrepreneurs and thought leaders. Be prepared, specific, and intentional about the help you’re seeking.
Some things to consider:
“There is a high turnover in the industry.”Danielle, THC Staffing Group
Basically, manage your expectations before transitioning. Danielle says, “There is an inflated sense of how much hiring is going on, in my opinion. From what I gather, from testimonials and what not, there’s just a lot of unrest I would say in the workforce. A lot of toxic work environments so that’s definitely a trend.” To the amount of positions available, Danielle pointed out, “There’s a lot of entry level and there’s a lot of temp jobs, and salaries and pay rate is just terrible to be honest.” However, decent paying cannabis jobs do exist, according to Danielle’s experience. “Maybe Oregon would be the type of market where there is a lot of movement around living wage and the rate of living is low enough in a place where the pay is decent, but i think it’s tough even though cannabis is essential…”
It could be a while before you get an offer that pays you as much as you make now. It may not happen quickly, but it is possible. “It will continue to be a growth industry,” Danielle says, but don’t expect this to happen overnight.
At their inception in 2014, THC Staffing Group was only the second staffing agency for the cannabis industry with a focus on diversity recruiting, inclusion consulting, and application work including grand-funded projects. Currently, Danielle is looking to build out a workforce development program based in Oakland to other parts of the country.
If you’re a company in need of consultation, or a person in need of resume revamp help, hit Danielle’s website to send a request. THC Staffing is small, but draws from a large network of consultants. For personalized partnerships, email firstname.lastname@example.org.