FALL RIVER — It’s not every day that a brand new job market just falls in your lap.
While many celebrated the 2016 legalization of recreational marijuana as an end of prohibition and a beginning of potentially millions of dollars in revenue for municipalities hosting dispensaries, it also represented the birth of an entire industry.
Depending on how many businesses are approved by the state’s Cannabis Control Commission to open, hundreds, and possibly thousands, of jobs in the Massachusetts marijuana industry could be created by the end of the year. It’s now up to each company to figure out how to fill these jobs when “relevant work experience” was considered illegal just a few years ago.
Fall River-based dispensaries like Northeast Alternatives and Hope Heal Health, which has yet to expand into recreational sales, are making efforts to hire locally, but that means very few applicants have employment histories in the cannabis industry. Because of this, Hope Heal Health President John Rogue said companies are looking for anyone with transferable skills.
“The truth is, you’re trying to qualify people without experience,” he said. “Someone who went to school and came out of an agricultural program is good. A lot of people who work well here came out of the restaurant business and have skill managing a large operation or working in fast-paced environments. People with any level of experience or desire is what we’re looking for.”
Product knowledge helps, but it isn’t mandatory.