There is no doubt that the cannabis industry faces various challenges, including regulatory hurdles, legal uncertainty, and a shortage of specialized professionals, but professionalization and education can help overcome these challenges and drive the growth and success of the industry. Over 70% of Americans have access to some form of cannabis (just smell it on the street), and the average consumer might be able to find a plethora of product, both recreational and medical, but how do they know if a professional is in charge? Has it been grown safely and has it been tested by a quality lab? Well, they don’t and that’s a problem.
Is there a shortage of Specialized Cannabis Professionals?
Yes, there is a shortage of specialized cannabis professionals in the cannabis industry. The cannabis industry is rapidly growing and requires professionals with specialized knowledge and skills to navigate complex regulations, develop and produce safe high-quality products, and effectively package and distribute those products to consumers. We need it, you need it, and your grandma who is shopping for gummies needs it!
As a result, building a pipeline of specialized cannabis professionals is critical to the continued growth and success of the industry. It is also important for consumer safety by delivering safe, effective products for all.
An Ecosystem of Future Cannabis Industry Leaders
Building an ecosystem of specialized cannabis professionals as the next industry leaders is critical, just as it has been for food, tobacco, alcohol, transportation, and other regulated industries.
Here are some ways that professionalization and specialization can benefit the cannabis industry & society:
- Improve the Quality of Products: Professionalization can help ensure that cannabis products are produced, tested, and labeled to the highest standards of quality and safety. This can help build consumer trust in industry and lead to greater demand for products.
- Increase Regulatory Compliance: As the legal and regulatory landscape surrounding cannabis evolves, professionalization can help ensure that businesses comply with these regulations. By adhering to the rules and regulations, cannabis businesses can avoid legal issues, fines, and other penalties.
- Enhance Industry Reputation: Professionalization can help to improve the reputation of the cannabis industry, which has traditionally been stigmatized and associated with criminal activity. By promoting the responsible use of cannabis, developing industry standards, and fostering a culture of professionalism, the industry can build a positive reputation that will attract new customers and investors.
- Attract Investment: Professionalization can also help to attract investment to the cannabis industry. By building a reputation for quality, safety, and compliance, cannabis businesses can attract funding from investors who are looking for stable and sustainable investment opportunities.
- Foster Innovation: Professionalization can help to foster innovation in the cannabis industry by attracting professionals with diverse backgrounds and skill sets. This can lead to the development of new products, technologies, and business models that can drive growth and profitability in the industry.
How Companies Build a Competitive Advantage with Future Cannabis Industry Leaders
Companies can create a competitive advantage in the cannabis industry by hiring and developing specialized cannabis professionals who bring unique skills and knowledge to their organizations.
Here are a few ways that specialized cannabis professionals can help companies gain a competitive edge:
- Cultivation and extraction: The quality of cannabis products depends in large part on the cultivation and extraction processes used to produce them. Specialized cannabis professionals who have experience in these areas can help companies develop and implement best practices that result in high-quality products that meet consumer demand.
- Product development: The cannabis industry is still in its early stages, and there is a lot of room for innovation and new product development. Specialized cannabis professionals who have experience in product development can help companies stay ahead of the curve by creating new and innovative products that meet the evolving needs of consumers.
- Marketing and branding: The cannabis industry is highly competitive, and companies that can effectively market and brand their products are more likely to succeed. Specialized cannabis professionals who have experience in marketing and branding can help companies develop effective strategies that differentiate their products from those of their competitors.
- Research and development: The cannabis plant has a wide range of potential therapeutic applications, and there is a growing body of research that supports its use in treating a variety of medical conditions. Specialized cannabis professionals who have experience in research and development can help companies develop new products that are backed by sound scientific research.
By hiring and developing specialized cannabis professionals who have expertise in these and other areas, companies can gain a competitive advantage in the cannabis industry. These leaders can help create ongoing cannabis education and training programs to ensure the company creates a culture of learning and innovation for all employees. Moreover, these professionals can help companies develop and implement best practices, stay ahead of the curve in product development and innovation, and create effective marketing and branding strategies that resonate with consumers.
How to Find, Network, and Hire Specialized Cannabis Professionals
To address this shortage of specialized professionals, some universities and colleges are offering Graduate and Master-level cannabis-related courses to prepare students for careers in the industry, including the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy with the industry’s first Master of Medical Cannabis Science and Therapeutics. Many companies are also investing in training programs and educational opportunities to develop specialized knowledge and skills in the cannabis industry. Additionally, there is a unique industry platform called The Cannabis Wellness Group which is a cannabis ‘talent-finder’ + networking platform for specialized cannabis professionals and the companies, government agencies and recruiters looking to hire them. You can search by expertise, specialty, location and/or name to find the best fit for your company or condition.
By increasing the number of specialized professionals in the industry, we can ensure that the cannabis industry continues to grow and evolve in a safe, sustainable, and responsible way. In a highly competitive and rapidly evolving industry like cannabis, having specialized talent can ensure safe, effective and efficient practices and make all the difference in the world. We need it, you need it, and your grandma who is shopping for gummies needs it!