Navigating the Search for Cannabis Executive Jobs

Jonathan Rose / Aug 24, 2022
hero-graphic-Navigating the Search for Cannabis Executive Jobs
Photo Credit: Christina @ via unsplash

A successful company has a strong leadership team, and that's the same in cannabis as it is in any other sector.

As the cannabis industry matures and grows, the demand for cannabis executive jobs grows with it. From chief marketing officers to chief operating officers and CEOs, companies in cannabis are filling their C-suites.

How do I start looking for an executive leadership position in the cannabis industry?

While the path to the cannabis C-suite can be more traditional through internal hiring based on tenure and performance, cannabis is a startup sector. It's been legal for all adults for less than 10 years in the oldest markets.

And like all startups, at a certain growth point, leadership begins to look outside the organization for executives with the executive skill set and expertise fundamental to just about every business within their specialty.

If you're an executive or seasoned vet from outside the cannabis world looking to land a senior leadership position at a cannabis company, there are several steps you should take and a few options for you to pursue:

  • First, you want to get to know the industry and its players. That means doing your research and networking. If you're reading this then you're already taking a good first step.
  • Every legal state should have at least one industry-focused membership organization you can tap into for events, lists of companies in the sector, and learning opportunities. Join the group!
  • Podcasts like Vangst's "Proud to Work in Cannabis" show frequently feature guests who share their stories of how they made the move into weed from other, more traditional industries. Learn their lessons before you make your own move.
  • Learn the different cannabis verticals and determine your best fit: Are you looking to move into a consumer packaged goods business? A plant-touching field? An ancillary sector like tech or accounting that caters to cannabis companies? If you have an area of expertise, odds are there's a cannabis company out there looking for somebody like you.

Finding that job

  • Now that you've done your research, it's time for the search. And again, like in more traditional industries, there are several paths to take:
  • Make those relationships you've been developing through associations work for you. You've put in the networking time, gone to the happy hours, and Zoomed yourself to the point of being bleary-eyed. The good news is that the right people now hopefully know you — now you need to let them know you're looking and hope all that hard work paid off.
  • Make it known that you're looking to a wider audience, and hope a recruiter or headhunter comes your way. This won't work for everybody because a lot of folks aren't exactly looking to advertise to their employer that they're looking for a new job. But if you're bold enough — or maybe in a period of transition — change your LinkedIn status and let that community know you're looking for work. LinkedIn has become a go-to for recruiters.
  • And then there's our preferred method, of course: Tap into the expertise of a recruiting platform like Vangst. We've developed relationships with more than 1,000 cannabis companies and placed hundreds of senior-level positions — many of them likely similar to what you're looking for. Our recruiters offer a wide range of services for both talent and companies. And we pride ourselves on finding great cannabis jobs for great people at great companies. Reach out directly to one of our recruiters today to get started! Be sure to mention that you're looking for an executive position based on your experience.

How much do cannabis executive jobs pay?

We're finding that most jobs in cannabis — from the top to the bottom — match or even beat those in traditional sectors. For a deep dive into cannabis salaries, download the 2021 Vangst Cannabis Industry Salary Guide, which has an entire section devoted to executive-level positions. The 2022 edition will be released in early 2023.

Good luck in your search and be sure to let us know how we can help along the way. We're here for you.

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