Cannabis industry competes for workers just like other businesses

Published: Nov. 3, 2021 at 5:26 PM PDT
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - Business is brisk at Sol Cannabis. Retail salesmen Chris and Eric can answer questions about the variety of options for customers.

There may be a misconception however about what it takes to work in a place like this.

“Just because you like to smoke marijuana, doesn’t mean you are great in the marijuana industry,” says Founder of Sol, Ed Alexander. Alexander says he’s had no problem keeping fully staffed.

But just like other industries, some shops aren’t as fortunate. That’s because the job starts at entry level pay, but much is expected. Prospective employees must apply for, and gain what’s called an agent card. A card costs $150, and if the employee chooses to work in more than one field say sales and cultivation, he or she must get a card in each of those disciplines.

“A background check through the Cannabis Compliance Board,” says Alexander of what a potential employee must undergo. “We hold agent cards which essentially are i.ds which say our background has been checked. We’ve agreed not to divert any product. We are current on child support. You know there is a fairly rigorous screening process,” he says. Alexander says it’s not unusual to train employees before and after they get their agent card. Sometimes the businesses will pay for the card itself which remains active for two years.

But that training and card follow the employee, which makes luring him or her to another cannabis business not unheard of.

The state says right now there are approximately 700 agent cards waiting for clearance pending the completion of among other things an FBI background check.

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