There is a common misconception that all cannabis professionals do is sit around and get high all day while watching plants grow. The reality is so far from that myth that it makes one wonder how that myth even started. To be honest, I entered the industry with no idea what to expect. Here are five things I wished someone would have told me when I began my career in cannabis.
Be Prepared To Constantly Smell Like Marijuana
When you work with marijuana, it's not just something you leave behind when you clock out for the day. After several years of working with cannabis, it has just become part of my natural smell. During Christmas of 2021, I drove up to Kansas to visit family and rented a car because mine smelled like a dry room filled with freshly cut bud.
After a while, you may become nose blind to the smell. But it is something you might want to keep in mind if you have to travel to a non-legal state.
It doesn't matter who you are, stereotypes are abundant.
Despite the more widespread acceptance of cannabis and more easily accessible educational material, stereotypes hurt cannabis industry workers. Many of us are written off as lazy and not working a "real" job.
Despite the smell we carry with us, cannabis professionals don't just sit around all day and get high while watching plants grow. The industry is hard work and requires individuals to be learning new skills regularly.
No one is an expert.
Speaking of learning, the industry evolves so rapidly and is so vast that no one can honestly claim to be a "cannabis expert". After working in a variety of different areas within the industry, it is my experience these people do not last long. The ones who thrive within the industry are always learning and sharing their knowledge with others. Discussions about growing methods, harvesting tips and tricks, and regulations are common between co-workers. We help one another learn and grow as cannabis professionals.
You have to be able to work with a diverse group of individuals.
In many industries, you can wind up working with a group of people who share the same beliefs, customs, and world views as yourself. However, the cannabis industry is comprised of individuals from all walks of life. And as a result, we have to learn how to work together despite our differences.
The plants come first.
At many jobs, your work day ends when you clock out. Not in the cannabis industry. No matter the weather or time of day, if something happens at the grow that can negatively impact the plants, then it needs to be addressed ASAP.
Every niche within the industry has had to burn the midnight oil at one point or another. But despite the occasional long hours, all of us in the industry know the end goal is worth it.