Looking for a job in a growing field?
Stockton University in New Jersey is cosponsoring a virtual career fair this week that will offer students opportunities in the cannabis industry.
Not all the jobs involve working with plants. There are legal jobs, accounting-related opportunities, and positions in communications, marketing, and health fields.
“Regardless of what your academic specialty will be, there will be an opportunity to use it in the cannabis industry,” said Edmund DeVeaux, president of the New Jersey CannaBusiness Association, which is cosponsoring the two-day event on Wednesday and Thursday.
Two years ago, as New Jersey inched toward legalizing the recreational sale and use of marijuana — a step voters approved in a ballot measure last month — Stockton began offering a minor in cannabis studies. The program enrolls about 90 students, and interest in the field has been keen, said Ekaterina “Kathy” Sedia, associate professor of biology.
“Regardless of how we may feel about it, it’s going to be here,” she said. “There’s going to be jobs and if somebody is going to get those jobs, I’d rather my kids get them.”
DeVeaux said the cannabis industry is expected to create about a million jobs over the next decade. While many sectors have been hard hit by the pandemic, the cannabis industry, like pharmaceuticals, is seen as recession-proof and continues to grow, DeVeaux said.
The job fair will offer more than 20 seminars on topics from cooking to insurance and legal issues, plus exhibits from cannabis and cannabis-related companies, such as Leads for Weed, which offers internet marketing for cannabis; Create Bliss Daily, a family-owned hemp and CBD company; and Bioscience, which helps design and build cannabis laboratories, the cosponsors said.
Students can sign up for virtual interviews, DeVeaux said.
College students can register and attend the job fair for free. Others who are interested must pay from $12.50 to $45 for a full-access ticket, with more information at https://www.cannabisimp.com/virtual-expo. The Cannabis Industrial Marketplace will host the event on its platform, which will open it to national audiences, DeVeaux said.
The fair is part of an ongoing relationship that the business association has developed with several colleges in the state, including Stockton, DeVeaux said. Businesses offer guidance in curriculum development and colleges ensure that a ready workforce is being prepared.
This is the second time Stockton is cosponsoring the cannabis job fair. Last year, it was held in person on Stockton’s Galloway Township campus and drew more than 200 people, said Diane D’Amico, a university spokesperson.
One student was offered a job on the spot last year, said Sedia, the biology professor. And at least five students made contacts that led to job offers, she said.
Sedia said she expects more will attend this year, in part because of the ease of doing so from their living rooms.
At last year’s job fair, Robin Nolan, a December 2019 Stockton graduate, got a job offer to work at a hemp farm in Vermont. “It just opened my eyes in terms of what I could do with this degree and this minor,” said Nolan, 23, of South River, N.J.. “I applied everywhere. I was going to every table with a cover letter.”
Nolan, who earned a bachelor’s in biology with the minor in cannabis studies, ended up not going to Vermont and instead took a job at a dispensary in Michigan.
She recently returned to New Jersey and is in the job market again. She didn’t know about the virtual job fair but said she plans to check it out.
One day, she said, “hopefully, I’ll own my own dispensary.”