The growth of the cannabis industry is creating career opportunities that have never existed before. We asked one company about how to land one.
For Canadians, the switch to a commercial medical marijuana system that is predicted to generate billions means that companies are hiring fast.
We spoke to Chris Murray, Director of Medical Education and Outreach at Tweed, about what businesses are looking for when it comes to new hires.
Q: How much hiring has Tweed done so far? Are there any jobs still available?
Over the past few months, we’ve started to expand from our initial core team. I joined the Tweed team in December to focus on the medical education and practitioner communication side of things.
As we progressed towards being approved, we started moving forward with hiring. We’ve already hired a total of 9 people in various levels. We also have fantastic local construction workers and contractors that have been amazing with their commitment to building up Tweed.
But right now, we still have a couple more positions to hire in terms of production assistants, and a medical liaison to help with educating practitioners.
Q: What job opportunities are there at a company like Tweed?
For us, being one of the largest producers in Canada, there’s obviously a focus on the production side of things. We have our master grower, our section growers, and our production assistants. And as our capacity continues to grow, those roles will multiply.“There’s obviously a focus on the production side”Beyond production we have our customer care team, which mostly consists of customer support agents who communicate with patients through phone or email. Eventually there will be roles to help evaluate and improve the process of addressing patients’ needs.
The medical side is also an area with reasonable promise for growth. We have a medical liaison position open and we’ll likely have some sort of event management role, specifically involved with outreach to practitioners, whether it be through one-on-one academic detailing or communicating to practitioners through conferences and continuing medical education events.
There’s also our quality assurance team, who are responsible for laboratory analysis of products and concentrations of different cannabinoids based on Health Canada requirements.
Q: Are there any special qualifications for getting hired in this industry?
I don’t think so. Because where we stand as an industry, there isn’t really a place to draw from. Unless you’re to consider recreationally growing cannabis as a specific requirement.
But there’s not a lot of people who have experience growing medical cannabis in a commercial indoor facility. You do get relevant experience growing other products in a commercial indoor facility, like a greenhouse, so it helps to have that.
On the medical side, I think the most important qualification is someone who has a proven track record of learning. Because when you look at something like marijuana, where the evidence is so broad-spectrum and continually changing, it’s important to be able to adapt. It’s also important to be able to communicate that information to practitioners.
Q: Why would someone want to work in the marijuana industry?
The reason I wanted to be involved with this opportunity is based on looking at cannabis as a whole – the amount of research and what it’s said to do, and has done, for so many people. Therapeutically, the things that it can do are exceptional.
My background has been in medical education, such as taking dense research and turning it into information that the general public reads, or what practitioners base what they do on.
So to be part of something that can change healthcare in an incredibly positive way is the appeal for me. I truly think, as this industry develops, that you will see a change in the landscape of how it’s prescribed and thought of by practitioners.
Q: Can employees use cannabis on the job?
There’s certain situations where it’s ill-advised. But then again we don’t have any roles involving heavy machinery. If someone is using it for medication and feels they need to use it while they’re working, I don’t think there would be any issues with that. But our official policy is to decide on a case-by-case basis.
Q: Are there any special perks of working at Tweed (i.e. discounts, stock options)?
I get asked a lot about whether I get discounts or free samples or need someone to test product. But as far as our operations are concerned, I don’t think we’ll be having any discounts.
We are looking at getting listed on the TSX, and there is an options pool that we’re in the process of developing. Our goal is to have people looking at working with Tweed as being a company they can grow with as well. So having that available for employees I think is important.