So You Want to Work in Cannabis?
Dr. Moe Afaneh, COO of BioTrackTHC
Your whole life people have told you “find a job that you love and the success will follow.” So it’s only normal that some people think, “Hey, cannabis is something I can get behind and that I enjoy, maybe I should work in the cannabis industry?” It’s new and exciting, there’s endless opportunity, and there’s unlimited room for innovation and making a difference in the world. Sounds fun, right? Here’s what they didn’t tell you.
Every single company in this space, even the most established in the industry, are still only startups. The startup environment is familiar to lots of people; it’s fast-paced, unpredictable and can either go exponentially well, or it can crumble overnight. The cannabis industry is a startup environment on steroids. With cannabis businesses, you have all of the intricacies and moving pieces of a startup environment, but on top that you pepper in rapidly-changing, unique laws and compliance rules in each state and the possibility of Federal regulation sticking their hands in your business; not to mention that it’s one of the most competitive industries in the world.
Every new business in this industry has the same amount of experience because this industry has been in existence for less than a decade. There are of course the heavy-hitters who are blazing the trail and pushing thought leadership, but for anyone new and especially at the retail level, you’re learning at the same time and at the same pace as all of your competitors, so every little success you have in this industry is being watched closely and if you’re not 100% on your game, they’re going to make you pay for it.
As soon as you think your business is in a good place and you have some consistency you can bank on, something will blindside you. Maybe an employee uses a shortcut in your inventory management and compliance system, putting your license in jeopardy. Or a batch of cannabis comes in and gets recalled for pesticides and there’s no regulation saying you get your money back; wiping out your entire inventory. Not to mention the complicated regulations; the stricter your state’s regulations are, the higher the cost of doing business is going to be for you. Between banking obstacles, tax deductions and operational costs, you’re lucky to walk away with 10% of the profits; and that’s just running the business. The most important thing you can take away is this; if you want to be a part of this industry, you better be in it for the long-term play, because you’re not going to get in, make a few quick bucks, and get out. The sky is the limit for long-term potential in this industry, but don’t think of this as the next dot com where you can make a quick million dollars and get out. Be here because you know what this really means; we’re changing the world and making history. We’re making a real difference; the potential payout is just an added bonus.
If you want to help make a real difference in the world through this industry, maybe it’s for you; just know that it’s going to require you to pour everything you’ve got into it, heart and soul. Be ready to work 25 hours a day, 8 days a week and still never dig out of your daily to-do list.
So, do you still want to work in the Cannabis industry?
This post was originally shared on Dr. Afaneh’s LinkedIn.
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