Long before Washington, Alaska, Oregon and Colorado, the Bay Area has been a hotbed of medical cannabis dispensaries.
Organizers of the San Francisco Bay Area Cannabis Career and Job Fair say this year marked the fourth annual event which brings out hundreds of people who curious about opportunities in cannabis.
Job openings range from plant trimmers, delivery drivers, software developers, account executives, sales assistants, brand ambassadors and lab technicians to highly coveted budtender positions. The event garnered attention from local press and welcomed attendees from across the US.
While California was the first US state to create a medical marijuana program for patients, the state has yet to legalize marijuana on a recreational level. Many believe this election year will precipitate change with early polls showing overwhelming support for legalization of the federally prohibited plant.
Bloom Farms, the official sponsor of the Bay Area career fair, is a 50 year old farm located in the Sierra Foothill mountains with a mission “to remove the negative social stigmas of cannabis.”
The company grows cannabis used to produce supercritical CO2 cannabis oil cartridges for their branded vaporizer pens. Bloom Farms products are available at dispensaries statewide all the way from the north at Harborside to dispensaries south near the Tijuana border.
Many cannabis businesses across the map are expanding rapidly as job fairs provide an efficient way of vetting potential prospects for positions in the industry. Applicants at the fair who were 18 and older with a valid California doctor’s recommendation were advised to dress professionally and bring “20 printed copies of [their] updated resumes.”
In California, the process of obtaining a valid doctor’s recommendation generally takes less than one hour and typically costs around $100. By contrast, in neighboring Oregon, medical marijuana applicants usually wait 30 days to receive authorization.
During the rush of recreational sales from October through December 2015, the wait climbed to four months in most instances as clients raced to obtain or renew medical cannabis cards in an effort to circumnavigate pending recreational cannabis retail sales tax and limitations on product ranges. Edibles, topicals, and concentrates are still only available to medical cardholders in the state of Oregon.
Most recreational cannabis states offer tax-free cannabis to medical cardholders, and California is expected to follow. While most California clinics offer a medical marijuana card, currently only a doctor’s recommendation is needed to purchase cannabis or hold employment at a California licensed cannabis business. Full recreational legalization in the state of California is expected to add a significant amount of revenue and expand the job market in what is already considered the world’s 8th largest economy.