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Top 6 Transferable Skills for Cannabis Jobs

transferable skills for cannabis jobs

The cannabis industry has become a big catalyst for job creation. However, if you do not have any direct experience with marijuana—other than using it—cannabis jobs may seem unattainable. The truth is that you may already have the skills to be considered for a variety of cannabis industry jobs even if you do not have direct experience with marijuana. There are many skills employers are looking for when it comes to hiring in the industry. To help you spruce up your cannabis resume and cover letter, we are going to go over the six best transferable skills for cannabis jobs.

The Cannabis Job Market is Growing Rapidly  

According to last year’s report by Leafly, there are 428,059 full-time cannabis industry jobs in the United States. That is a whopping 32% increase in cannabis occupations since 2019. By the end of 2022, our team predicts that there will be around 100,000 new marijuana jobs in the industry—as stated in our latest Cannabis Industry Salary Guide. With incredible resilience and job growth in the industry, pursuing one of the many cannabis jobs near you is an incredibly attractive option.

Soft Transferable Skills for Cannabis Jobs 

Soft skills are those that enable you to work well with others and have the right mindset to achieve goals and perform well. They can be applied to any job in any industry. However, we have rounded up three soft transferable skills that will help you stand out from the pack in the cannabis industry.  

transferable skills ability to adapt

Ability to Adapt  

Dealing with change is essential to any cannabis job, especially managerial and executive roles. Out of all the transferable skills for cannabis industry jobs, this one is the most important. Being flexible complements and enhances your problem-solving and decision-making skills. With the ability to adapt, you can overcome challenging and new situations. According to a survey by Monster—which included 3,100 recruiters across the nation—flexibility is one of the top four skills employers are looking for.

When preparing for your cannabis job interview, highlight stories that show how you were flexible in handling unexpected issues at work and in your personal life. You can even build your cognitive flexibility or ability to adapt in simple ways. For example, you can read fiction books to build your empathy muscles, redirect negative thoughts to see unseen benefits, or simply order something new at your favorite restaurant. Cognitive flexibility is one of the top skills employers are looking for, and it takes constant practice to keep fresh. 

transferable skills self starter


Are you ambitious and willing to take on new challenges as opportunities to succeed and/or learn? Being a self-starter is beneficial to all cannabis careers, especially because the industry is still so young. The cannabis industry is working through many growing pains, and your ability to welcome and deal with new challenges that arise is crucial. Think about a time you took the initiative to carry out a project in the past. How did you lead the way? What was your thought process in creating the plan? How did you make sure it was executed properly? Highlight those details on your cannabis resume and try to integrate them into a response for a behavioral interview question.  

cannabis jobs collaboration

Collaborative Nature  

It’s no secret that the ability to work as a part of a team is one of the best transferrable skills for cannabis jobs. Cannabis employers are always looking for talent that can collaborate well with their staff. Although the idea of collaborating with others seems easy, it can be challenging. Each individual on a team has their strengths, weaknesses, and communication preferences. Knowing how to approach and work with each team member well enough to contribute to success is beneficial to any cannabis employer. Having a collaborative nature not only means you can communicate well with others, it also means that you have sound emotional intelligence, respect for diversity, and are an active listener. 

Hard Transferable Skills for Cannabis Jobs 

Hard transferable skills are those that you can measure. They are learned abilities you can acquire through education and practice. There are a variety of hard transferable skills to learn for an array of cannabis careers. However, there are three that align well with most marijuana occupations. Take a look at what hard transferable skills will give you an advantage for cannabis jobs near you.

cannabis jobs customer journey

Understanding the Customer Journey 

Your ability to understand the customer journey is one of the most crucial hard transferable skills to have for any cannabis job. Those who have retail experience are more seasoned in knowing what the customer journey entails. Learning to create customer journey maps tailored to the audience of your company will put you ahead of the rest. Cannabis employers want people who can visualize the customer journey at each of the cannabis brand’s touchpoints. By understanding the customer journey, you can adjust it and avoid pain points, leading to higher customer retention. This hard transferable skill goes under the umbrella of having good attention to detail. Those who know how to look at the data and analyze it to pivot and enhance the customer experience will be useful to any cannabis company. If you are brand new to customer journey maps—click here.   

cannabis digital marketing

Digital Marketing Savvy 

You may not be making the most revenue even if you have the best cannabis dispensary in town. Why? People cannot experience your brand if they are not aware it exists. Digital marketing is one of the best transferrable skills to have for a variety of cannabis jobs, from dispensary manager to marketing specialist. Competition is rising in the cannabis industry. Maryland, Missouri, North Dakota, Ohio, and Oklahoma are all looking to legalize adult-use cannabis. Not to mention, New York—which is predicted by experts to be bigger than California in the U.S. cannabis industry–will be greenlit for adult-use cannabis retail around 2023. Digital marketing covers email marketing, SEO best practices, video marketing, podcasts, collaborating with online cannabis communities, and more. However, there are still plenty of strict regulations for the cannabis industry when it comes to digital marketing. Staying on top of what you can and cannot do is crucial.   

cannabis accounting skills

Accounting Expertise 

Cost accounting experience is a major plus in the cannabis industry. Accounting and finance in the cannabis industry can be a complicated web to navigate. Someone with experience creating and executing high-level financial strategies would be a great asset to any cannabis company. If you have solid examples of how you pushed toward profitability in related industries, such as the beer industry, be sure to bring up examples in your resume and job interview(s). Knowledge of accounting software, such as Freshbooks and Xero, is also highly attractive. Additionally, it would be best to know the cannabis industry regulations in your state. From working with cannabis tax laws to dealing with a higher risk of being audited, there are many accounting challenges a cannabis business may face. Therefore, accounting expertise is one of the essential hard transferable skills employers are looking for in the industry.   

If you live in a marijuana legal state, there is likely a wide array of cannabis jobs near you. And if you do not have any direct professional experience with marijuana, you can still land a cannabis job. There are several soft and hard transferable skills employers are looking for in the cannabis industry. So, highlight the transferable skills you have, network, and find ways to show your passion for the space. 

More Cannabis Industry Insight

2022 Tri-State Cannabis Salary Guide

Salary guide download for the Tri-State cannabis market
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2023 Cannabis Industry Salary Guide

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