In October 2018, Canada approved to legally regulate cannabis for recreational use, making it the first major G7 economy to do so. The Cannabis production industry has proved to be the fastest growing market in Canada. According to IBISWorld estimates, the industry revenue increased by an annualized 116.3% from 2015 to 2020, earning an anticipated $3.5 billion this year.

The cannabis industry offers many opportunities for career advancement but yet many candidates still think of it as stigmatic and are guided by common misconceptions.

Here’s our list of top 3 myths, dispelled:

1. Cannabis employers will hire anybody.
Wrong. Employers look for candidates with passion, skills and, yes, experience. Because cannabis is quite young in Canada, its employers don’t expect you to have cannabis specific qualifications, but they look for prior experience in related industries such as retail or hospitality. In many ways this industry has to prove itself and you’ll find that it cultivates a culture of hard work and dedication. They adhere to strict employee background checks and regulations which makes it very difficult for just anyone to work there.

2. Cannabis is “risky”.
The risk isn’t necessarily any greater than with other industries. In fact, demand is high (no pun intended!). There are 55 million recreational marijuana users in U.S and most of them are millennials. Canada’s National Cannabis Survey reported that 5.3 million or 18 per cent of Canadians consumed cannabis during the first quarter of 2019, which was higher than the 14 per cent reported before legalization. Employment opportunities within the financial and legal cannabis industry are also plentiful. As per an Indeed job posting, a financial reporting manager within the Cannabis space could be earning anywhere between $90,000 to $110,000 per year. Jobs are diverse, and the growing demand for labor is expected to continue to rise through 2020. This industry is not going away anytime soon, and likely ever.

3. Cannabis has narrow opportunities.
People often assume that the cannabis industry is either all about cultivating or dispensing. But let’s not forget that this $55 billion market is also an ancillary service provider that supports other businesses. From laboratories focused on product testing to data driven platforms, and professional services such as legal advisors to digital marketers, this industry has a lot more to offer than expected. Just like any other industry, the cannabis market is also supported by ancillary business functions that are not directly involved with the cultivation of the plant. Some of the top revenue generating Canadian cannabis companies are Canopy Growth CorpCronos GroupAurora CannabisAphria etc. Some of the in-demand finance and accounting roles include analysts, accountants, controllers, and auditors.

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