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Why Professionalism Matters in the Cannabis Community

One in five Americans lives in a state with recreational marijuana. There are only six states that have no form of legal cannabis under any circumstances in the U.S. Canada is expected to legalize cannabis in 2018. Mexico has also talked about moving towards legalizing medical cannabis. There is so much going on in the cannabis community!

Cannabis reform is sweeping the globe.

The cannabis industry has reached a pivotal moment in history. We are at the forefront of not only a new industry but also a global movement. What we do today has massive implications for our future.

Therefore, professionalism cannot be forgotten in this industry. We have the opportunity to create something great, something that will impact generations for years to come. But we must take the right approach.

Damaging stigmas regarding cannabis users are alive and well

A lack of education is one of the biggest issues plaguing the cannabis industry today. The negative stereotypes surrounding cannabis users are still present. Portrayed as lazy, ignorant, and apathetic – the perception of the “stupid stoner” is alive and well. While we know these stereotypes are false, they hold real world implications.

As a community, we must rise above these damaging perceptions. One way we can do this is by bringing professionalism into the industry. Now, that doesn’t mean we need to corporatize cannabis. Rather, we must act as conscious individuals who treat each other with respect. Being professional isn’t about wearing a suit. It’s about showing up and getting the job done. To be a professional means that you arrive on time, operate in compliance, and act as a team player.

The cannabis industry is held to a higher standard.

Combating years of prejudice and misinformation, the cannabis community must show that we’re not only building the next great industry, we’re also making the world a better place. That starts with our interactions in the workplace. Cannabis business owners can defy negative stereotypes by operating professionally.

Cannabis businesses operate in risky terrain

The cannabis industry is one of the fastest growing industries worldwide. It also happens to be one of the riskiest. Needless to say, working in cannabis, is not for the faint of heart.

Opening a dispensary or cultivation center requires licenses or permits from the state of intended operation. In some cases, local permits may be necessary as well. The requirements to obtain legal cannabis business licenses are a lengthy and often complex process.

Even once a license is obtained, cannabis businesses operate in a legal gray area. Cannabis on a federal level is still considered a schedule I substance. Which means cannabis companies face a greater degree of scrutiny. Shutdown and even jail time can occur for business owners who are not in compliance. To make matters worse, even compliant business owners have faced legal backlash.

By operating with integrity and professionalism, cannabis business owners and their employees can reduce their risk significantly. Operating haphazardly puts not only individuals at a higher risk but the cannabis community at large.

Cannabis patients deserve the best care

As cannabis reform spreads, people are beginning to rediscover the incredible therapeutic qualities of cannabis. Often facing serious illnesses, cannabis medicine is used as a last result. Many people are desperate and searching for answers.

It is up to the cannabis community to help these patients. With nowhere else to turn to, the cannabis industry must rise to the occasion. This is particularly true for dispensary owners.

When someone is walking into a dispensary, they deserve knowledgeable staff members who can assist them. Helping patients goes beyond pushing the “dankest buds” or the latest products for sale.

Cannabis industry professionals must be a trusted resource for patients seeking natural relief. A dispensary employee with a bad attitude or lazy service cannot only ruin a patient’s experience; it could jeopardize their health.

For example, what if a diabetic patient was given a sugar loaded edible because their budtender recommended it?

Operating professionally in the workplace puts patients first. A professional in the cannabis industry is someone who takes patient care seriously and understands the consequences of mistakes. They also are a team player that strives to provide the best patient experience.

Cannabis is a catalyst for change

The cannabis industry is setting a new precedent worldwide. As a community, we have the incredible opportunity to make a global impact. Applying the principles of community, sustainability, and awareness – cannabis can be a catalyst for economic and social progression.

When we work together for greater good, the cannabis community is an unstoppable force.

Our passion and drive for this plant and people have led us to this point. But our work here is not done. We must continue to not only fight for legalization but also continue to hold ourselves to the highest standard. This goes beyond compliance. The cannabis community must make an initiative to support one another and take pride in our work. This does not mean we lose our heart or culture but rather bring the professionalism necessary to propel this movement forward.

How can we do this?

We can do this by dropping the poor communication, office politics, backstabbing practices, rude conduct, tardiness and other negative behaviors. Unprofessionalism undermines the industry as a whole.

As a connected community, we are stronger. So let’s work together to make cannabis a new kind of industry!