Tips for getting a dream job in the Cannabis industry...you bet!
As the medical industry adapts to reflect the inclusion of cannabis as part of a healing protocol, insightful entrepreneurs have stepped up to offer a range of services throughout this emerging market. CannaMed Solutions, a year-old company based in Chicago, describes itself as "the premier talent and staffing solutions company serving the Illinois medical cannabis community." As CannaMed's Talent Acquisition Lead, Amanda Guerrero serves as the company's public face, bringing a fresh perspective of charming charisma and confident commitment to this burgeoning private sector. With her energy and enthusiasm for all things cannabis, Amanda represents a generation -- and an audience -- on the professional ascendancy.
Stephanie Sack: Where are you from, and what is your educational/entrepreneurial trajectory? Where do you live now?
Amanda Guerrero: I am a proud South Sider, hailing from the Garfield Ridge area of Chicago. I received half of my education from Chicago Public Schools, private institutions, and life. This is my first entrepreneurial adventure but as this industry grows and I mature, I anticipate on diving in to other cannabis startups and those outside the industry. Ultimately, I want be in a place where at the end of my life I can say I worked with people who motivated me and joined (or started) companies I was passionate about and loved. CannaMed Talent Solutions is a great first step for me.
2) How and why did you come to the idea of talent sourcing specifically for the cannabis market? Is the market mature enough to justify this type of niche service?
I can't take credit for the idea of CannaMed Talent Solutions, but I can speak on behalf of our founders Kevin Krumm, Ryan Pollock, and Wendy Berger Shapiro. Kevin and Ryan have seen staffing success in the IT industry, whereas Wendy has made a career in startups like Orbitz and real estate ventures. All three of them were passionate about cannabis and recognized a need for qualified and compassionate talent within the Illinois market. Thus CMTS was born. As much as I'd like to say that we are the only ones to do it, the western cannabis market is more advanced and has several staffing companies that operate on a state and national level. We're currently focused on the IL but would ultimately like to expand nationally.
3) What has the market's response been? Do you think that CannaMed's professional services attract a specific type of employee?
Overall, we've seen a positive result from our clients and candidates. We have a diverse talent pool that sees new additions daily. We work with “stoners”, blue collar folks, and executives to educate them on compliance, cannabis 101, and presentation.
4) How many companies are currently advertising? Are companies coming to CannaMed or is there an outside sales team? Advertising jobs or their products?
Our jobs are posted on our website for candidates to apply directly and easily. There are strict rules and regulations regarding cannabis advertising so most dispensaries do that in house or through marketing agencies.
5) How best to describe the CannaMed concept and brand? With confidentiality being a cornerstone of the CannaMed concept, do you see the company ever holding, say, hiring events?
Plain and simple, CannaMed Talent Solutions is a company based on building relationships. When you work within this industry specifically, your success is determined by how hard you work, the product you're selling and what kind of relationships you've been able to establish. We at CMTS are here to bridge the gap between clients and candidates, while also offering career services for our candidates. We are hosting monthly meet up groups in Chicago and other events in the coming months. Confidentiality is more of an issue when there are video recordings involved.
6) Do you think that professional skills such a retail, marketing, and management translate directly to the cannabis market, or do you think that the best employees will already have a background in cannabis, however limited that may be?
Absolutely! Job applicants coming from a customer service heavy industry will find an easy transition into cannabis. Virtually anyone can work in this industry as long as they know their state rules and regulationss, qualifying conditions (if applicable) and the science behind cannabis (not just the difference between an indica and sativa). This is your foundation for networking with cannabis companies, because if you can’t discuss these three items seriously and accurately you’re less likely to get the job.
7) Is the cannabis market ultimately a health and wellness market? A recreational market? A women's market? A luxury market?
The Illinois cannabis market is can be considered a health and wellness market. With so much of our success tied to the approval of medical conditions, cannabis education has become a Number 1 priority for businesses. Educating the public about the medicinal benefits of cannabis has started many conversations about alternative therapies and the effectiveness of pharmaceutical companies. Many in Illinois are coming out in favor of cannabis simply from a health perspective.
8) Do you consider CannaMed a pioneer in this field? Why or why not? How do you compare to your competitors, if there are any?
There are several other staffing and recruiting firms out west that have been around way longer. However, CannaMed Talent Solutions is fully committed to being a company that works hard for their clients and candidates. We are passionate about medical cannabis and advocating on its behalf. CMTS is still growing and experimenting with different services, but we ultimately want to be a leader in client and candidate relations.
9) What is the long-term plan for CannaMed? Are you looking to sell? Acquire other properties?
Develop and manage other talent niches?
CannaMed Talent Solutions is here to stay. Our business is still in the beginning stages with plans to expand our services. Keep checking back with us on Facebook, Twitter, and the website to see what we’re up to!
10) What is your personal relationship to cannabis?
I am fortunate and grateful to not be considered a patient personally, but I am very well acquainted with the benefits of medical cannabis. I am passionate about medical cannabis because I have seen firsthand what it can do. I know families whose lives have been destroyed by pharmaceuticals, Veterans that put the gun down and picked up a joint, loved ones who pre-cannabis lived their life a drugged out depressed fog and got their lives back with medical cannabis. I am passionate because I know it works.
CannaMed Talent Solutions
223 W Jackson Blvd312-600-8401
Chicago, IL 60606
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