Job seekers are expected to turn out in droves for the CannaSearch cannabis-related job fair Thursday. Résumés — not reefer — will be welcome.
More than a dozen Colorado marijuana-related companies are joining forces to recruit hundreds of people 21 and older for positions in accounting, IT, trimming, growing, customer service and sales.
The event expects to draw close to 700 job seekers. But fair warning: Use of marijuana is prohibited in line or at the fair.
"Inside the cannabis industry, we are focused on professional, qualified people — just like any other industry," O.penVape chief revenue officer Todd Mitchem said. "We won't be impressed if someone says, 'I've been smoking all morning, and I can still talk.' "
Denver-based O.penVape, which makes cannabis vaporizers, is hosting the fair that has drawn RSVPs from job seekers as far away as Alabama and California.
"It has been pretty surprising, the level of attention and interest we've received," Mitchem said.
O.penVape expects to double its workforce, adding an estimated 120 jobs, by the end of the year and is in need of an auditor, IT expert and customer-service representatives.
The Hemp Connoisseur magazine, which will be recruiting at the fair, is looking to expand its advertising sales force to three people from one this year as it increases circulation in Colorado and expands to Washington state and Oregon, David Maddalena said.
Maddalena said he chose to recruit at the fair, hoping to improve the candidate pool for his jobs. In the past, his job posts have lured people excited to be in the cannabis industry but who don't realize the work that goes in to advertising and sales.
"We are looking for people who are go-getters and understand sales," Maddalena said.
Positions where the employee will be in direct contact with cannabis will require a marijuana occupational license, often referred to as a "badge." A badge requires a criminal background check and confirmation of Colorado residency. It is obtained through the state Marijuana Enforcement Division and, depending on the job, costs $75 or $250 — cash or check only.
According to Mitchem, there is a misconception that cannabis jobs pay "three times as much" but stresses that wages are competitive.
"We a trending a little higher than other industries, but we pay an accountant similarly," Mitchem said.
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The fair will take place from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. at O.penVape headquarters at 1058 Delaware St. All job seekers must be at least 21.