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Cannabis Businesses Need To Hire From Within The Movement


work for marijuanaThe Marijuana Industry Requires A Unique Skill Set

Have you ever gone into a head shop, grow shop, collective, dispensary, or some other type of cannabis business establishment and wondered how the person got their job their because they obviously don’t know anything about the cannabis culture or industry? I know I have. Admittedly, I go into cannabis establishments more than most other people. But it seems like at least once a week I see someone working at a cannabis business that either has no desire to learn about the culture/industry they are working in, or are just putting up a front that they care in order to try to cash in on the ‘green rush’ that has dominated the West Coast the last few years.

This is always a big turnoff for me. I only want to do business with people that have been in the culture and industry for at least a few years, but preferably a decade or longer. This is because the cannabis industry is unlike any other industry on the planet. The skills it takes to be truly successful in the cannabis industry (and not just a faker looking to profit) are hard to obtain. You can’t learn these skills in a classroom, and you certainly can’t buy them with money. That’s not to say that some fakers out there are aren’t making money in the cannabis industry, because they are. But their time is running out. All it takes is for a genuine ganjaprepreneur to come along and the faker will be put out of business. I have seen it happen time after time in cannabis related retail, media, and beyond.

Ever since Ninjasmoker and I quit our old jobs to pursue activism full time, we have met so many fake people in this industry. They are so easy to spot. This is probably not the best thing to put out there, since fakers will no doubt realize why I’m asking them these questions now, but I always ask the same set of questions to people to see if they are genuine or not. When did you first start smoking marijuana? How often do you smoke it? What is your preferred method of consumption? Have you ever sold marijuana? Have you ever grown marijuana?

When you ask someone those questions, you will learn really fast if they are genuine or not. If their answers are evasive, and come with long explanations, then they are likely a faker or ‘profiteer.’ If they give honest answers, and the only explanations they give involve high grade nutrients, then you know they are ‘down’ with the cause. I have no problem with people that aren’t ‘down’ with the cause, but I don’t want to do business with them. I only want to work with, or support financially, experts in this industry, not other industries, because after all, the cannabis industry is unlike any other industry there is.
If I had a dollar for every time a person with an MBA, or some other advanced degree, tried to do a guest post for The Weed Blog I’d have enough money to buy a house made out of hemp. If I had a dollar for every investor that knew ‘the right thing for us to do’ with our website, I would be able to buy a dozen hemp houses. But if I tried to count on my fingers how many of these investors had truly solid ideas that were based on years of inside knowledge of the cannabis industry and culture, it would be hard to make a ‘peace’ sign with my fingers…

I tell them until I’m blue in the face that their guest posts and ‘expert’ opinions would do quite well for the Wall Street Journal or the New York Times, but in the world of marijuana, their papers aren’t even good enough to roll joints with. That’s because true marijuana fans want to read stuff or support stuff that comes from within the movement. It’s hard to explain, but I know when I’m reading something genuine, or buying something genuine, because I can almost feel the marijuana knowledge in the essay or product or service. I will comment to Ninjasmoker all the time, ‘The only way they could have come up with that idea is if they were deep in the grind.’ Do TWB readers feel the same way?

It kills me to see perfectly good cannabis industry jobs going to people outside of the cannabis culture. Businesses might think that it’s vital to get that outside perspective, or to bring someone on that has experience in other areas, thinking it will translate over. Please, please cannabis business leaders, don’t do this anymore! Do you wonder why your investment is flopping? Do you wonder why the person you hired lacks passion? It’s probably because they don’t know what they are doing, and definitely don’t believe in it!
Instead, hire someone that LOVES marijuana. They will come to work every day fired up, and will bring a passion that cannot be matched by any person, no matter how much more you pay them. When people are doing it for the love, no one who is doing it for the money can ever match their tenacity. Your business will be better off for it, customers will be better off for it, and most importantly, the hardworking employee you just hired will be better off for it.

The only thing that kills me more than seeing a non-marijuana consumer taking up a job in the industry is to see a talented, dynamic marijuana activist grinding it out at a meaningless job that they hate. Or even worse, out committing felonies in order to make ends meet so that they can pursue activism on the side. If these activists had jobs in the cannabis industry, they would be able to pursue activism more frequently and effectively, which would help the movement, industry, and culture move forward.

If you are a cannabis business owner, and you truly believe in what you are doing, you will no doubt agree with me. If you think I’m off base, then you are probably a profiteer, and I offer you this warning — if you don’t change your ways, your days are numbered. All it takes is a genuine person pursuing the same idea(s) as you, and you will be weeded out by people that are pure. It’s only a matter of time.


About Author

Johnny Green


  1. Drivefriendly on

    I can understand your dilemma. The juggernaut of medical marijuana is rolling over everyone and lots of folks are getting very greedy. I went to prison in1989 for growing in Arizona and now I have a card that says it’s legal to cultivate. I’ve been out of the business for all those years, and now am trying to get back into it, but so far have not had much luck. Perhaps we should have a chat.

  2. If pot becomes legal in Texas, Presidio will probably be the best grow area in the US.  Growing out in the sun with hydroponics would be killer.

  3. Throw some marijuana seeds next to a stream and you could be selling low grade pot in a month while pruning for production and high grade pot this fall.

  4. Sandy_augusta36 on

    what if hollywood  decided that anyone using any kind of drugs is not allow 2 sing dance make movies or better not allow no job in  hollywood  before getting a job must take drug test actor moviestars singers dancers just about anybody for any job then what

  5. Sandy_augusta36 on

    i understand lots of people abuse there foodstamps many dont pay there rent o bill  but what happen 2 those that do use there foodstamps only 4 food and pay there bills and only smoke weed not right i 4 one dont agree 

  6. facebqqk dot com slash extinct on

    – i first smoked in the mid 1990s when i was about 20. forgot about it for a while and in 2010 i really got back into it again. i do not do cigarettes, alcohol or any of that
    – i smoke at least 4-5 days a week, almost daily, but for job related reasons i will have to stop any day now. it’s really unfortunate. i get significant physical/spiritual/psychedelic therapy from it and other natural things like magic mushrooms. i think if all 7 billion of us were to experience some quality marijuana at the same time, that moment might go down in history as a turning point bigger than the industrial revolution
    – favorite method is to vaporize, using a small glass tube and a torch lighter. the glass tube gradually gets lined with beautiful red hash oil. in a pipe or bong this red oil is usually lost or discarded, but in my glass tube none of it gets wasted. and i never breathe in any ash. i get my glass tubes at walmart for 97 cents in the automotive section. it’s sort of a high maintenance and unusual way to smoke but for me it’s hard to beat. when i’m out with others i use whatever devices they have
    – no i have never sold weed. obviously i don’t want to go to jail, but philosophically, i wouldn’t sell it even if it was legal (i’m in North Carolina) because it should be free and *is* free, other than man-made peculiarities such as greed for control and profit motive
    – yes i have grown one plant. i bought some dr.greenthumb’s G13 seeds when they first hit the market in late ’10 or early ’11. 3 seeds for $200, and laugh all you want. i grew one plant from May 2011 to October 2011 and put my journal on rollitup. i still have the other 2 seeds and wish i could give ’em to a good home. i also still have some of the harvest from that plant. this was my first and only experience ever growing any plant. i must be quantumly entangled with it or something because i still see it as “my baby” and when i had to chop it down for harvest i was crying the whole time at how beautiful it was and how i wanted it to live forever
    i’d love to work in the cannabis industry. this would be a dream fulfilled. i’d be doing it out of the love of helping people. i would have no idea where to get started though. you still gotta survive even if you hate the concept of money as i do, so for now i am pursuing a job i’m really not in love with, other than the fact that it pays. till the day i die i will be a marijuana advocate.

  7. A couple things, in my home state, if you go into a head shop and mention weed, cannabis, marijuana, or even bong…you are escorted to the door immediately. So asking the counter person if they know anything about growing weed, well, get real.  But you are right about the peoples desire to get stinking rich on this industry. We can share this new opportunity or we can let those that have money, connections and no talent/experience do to our business that which they have done to all businesses they steal. Ruin them, with mediocrity. One method insure a permanant solution, allocation of grow licenses by small individual quota, no corportations that chased us with sticks and caged us for 75 years should evre make a nickle from the repeal. Small individual quotas require 750,000 growers, coffee shop weed emporiums would require 1,500,000 budtenders. Nobody gets rich, everybody gets fed.  

  8. well what next im on ssi are they gonna start messing with peoples social security checks and im sorry what about the families of an addict that cannot stop they get denied assistance cause mom or dad have a problem its messed up i agree that people need treatment but to enforce it like this wont work im a recovering opiate addict due to pain from several injuries and i could not quit without a methadone program and even that wasnt an option for me till i was ready to stop i had to want to do it for me so forcing people to suffer without rent and tanf and food stamps if they dont go to rehab is harsh and will never work long term

  9. Westvalleymeds on

    Here in AZ…I have become so depressed on multiple occasions to the point of almost shutting down my club……I only have about 40 patients….and I cant expand because 99.9% of the people who want to work with me or invest are 100% fake…and care about 2 things…money…and being the most “popular” cannabis smoker in the state…..ive seen people put as their occupation as, “marijuana celebrity extraordinar”……and then do an interview on the news saying they have every “Strand” of flower available……..lol…..if I had 1 good…REAL mmj investor…I could be the best and most original club in the state…..to bad all the investors only want money……

  10. TimothyTipton on

    Here, Here! These Corporate Types in Colorado have continued to embrace Basically Bad Business Practices! There IS the 1% who are doing it right, promoting Local, hiring Activists and Advocates, but I just wish we could Kick that Up to 20 per cent.

  11. FBI statistics show 80 percent of all “illegal” drug sales if of marijuana.   All the prohibitionists talk about “drugs” is meant to cloud the issue and cast the harms of the hard drugs onto marijuana. 

    It is not a war on “drugs.”  It’s a war on marijuana consumers.  The biggest issue is not “drug” policy, but marijuana policy.

    Marijuana is also radically different from the other “illegal” drugs.  Every major government commission on marijuana concluded it is not addictive and is FAR less harmful than alcohol.  NO ONE has ever died from consuming marijuana.  That makes it safer than aspirin, coffee, and peanuts!It is therefore criminal to force people who like to alter their consciousness to consume dangerous, very damaging alcohol instead.

    Let’s not let the persecutors talk about “drugs” any longer.  It’s marijuana policy we are fighting over.  No one thought it was necessary to discuss opium when we were ending the miserable failure of alcohol prohibition.

  12. Marylpellow on

    Thats what needs to be done for all services. Cause of drug abuse some families are homeless or having kids taken

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