Friday November 27, 2015

By Brandon Shepherd


The Pot of Gold at the end of the rainbow is as elusive as ever.

November 7th 2012 is a date that cannabis connoisseurs should have engrained in their hearts – the day weed became legal in the state of Colorado.  This was the day I decided to join the industry and try my hands at making a living in this new market.

Many people (myself included) thought that the cannabis industry would be a gold rush for anyone that decided to jump in and start working.  The idea of, “If you build it, they will come”, runs rampant in any entrepreneurial circle, but it is especially prevalent in this arena.  Unfortunately, I found out the hard way that just like any other business, success is not simply handed to you.  

The idea of a passion of food, weed, and starting my own business drove me to enter this industry with uncontrollable enthusiasm.  The thought of working with stoners and going to weed parties was a vision that helped me convince myself that leaving my current career was the right move, and I could finally do something that I wanted to do.  Unfortunately over the past 2 years, those visions have been replaced with long days, countless sales calls, and even a theft of my very own concept.


Recently it has become apparent that working with cannabis is simply:  Just a job.

There are other aspects I have been exposed to in my recent journey that can relate to someone who has dreamed of working in the cannabis industry.  Complaints of how these new companies are making “millions” of dollars, yet they will only hire new employees at a minimum pay grade.  I understand the desire to make lots of money working in the cannabis industry, but there are lots of economic factors that prevent bud tenders, trimmers, and growers from striking it rich working for the perceived bourgeois dispensary owners.  For these business owners, high taxation, huge capital investments, the inability to write off expenses, and banking issues are at the top of their list for limiting employee pay.

The more poignant factor is a much simpler one.  There are a lot more people wanting these jobs than actual positions available, making the marketplace extremely competitive – which, in any case, will drive down wages.  

By no means is this article meant to dissuade anyone from chasing their dreams of making it rich in the cannabis market – Do I work with stoners?  Yes.  Do I go to weed parties?  Yes.  All I’m trying to convey is:  Don’t think the factors of a free market do not apply to this industry.

If you are trying to launch the next great product, be prepared to work as hard as you have every worked in your life.  If you simply want a job working with weed, realize that the employment you are seeking is also under the same mechanisms as your last job, and your expectations need to be same.

PotGuide Note: If you are looking to enter the cannabis industry, here are a few tips on starting your own cannabiz!

Photo Credit: gentlegiant27153 (Public Domain)

Mota Pot - Cannabis Butter Maker

PotGuide Brandon Shepherd

Brandon Shepherd is a Food Scientist Consultant from Colorado, whose passion for food, travel and cannabis has led to the creation of The Mota Pot, a 10 minute cannabis oil infuser.

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