West Orange Marijuana Entrepreneurs Offer Tips For Job Seekers

West Orange Marijuana Entrepreneurs Offer Tips For Job Seekers


WEST ORANGE, NJ — Want to become a “budtender?” If you’ve worked other customer service positions, you may already have many of the skills you need to hit the ground running in the legal marijuana business, a pair of cannabis entrepreneurs in New Jersey say.

Corey Dishmen and Charles Penn, owners of The Library, are hoping to open New Jersey’s first, Black-owned cannabis dispensary in West Orange. The state will begin accepting applications for class 5 retail licenses on March 15.

While they wait out the application process with fingers crossed, Dishmen and Penn have been holding community outreach events in North Jersey, including expungement workshops to help people learn how to clear previous criminal convictions for minor marijuana offenses.

The Library will hold two upcoming expungement clinics with Ayr Wellness on Sunday, Feb. 27 in Rahway and Eatontown. Learn more here.

The expungement clinics will also have another purpose, Dishmen and Penn said: recruitment.

“Twenty individuals will be selected from those two events and will receive paid career readiness training for three weeks, prior to being set up for job interviews,” they told Patch.

What are some of the most important skills for people who want to become “budtenders” in New Jersey’s burgeoning legal cannabis industry? Here’s what Dishmen and Penn had to say when asked by Patch:

“We will be looking for employees that are passionate and knowledgeable about cannabis and the many components such as terpenes, THC% and cannabinoids in general. They will receive formal training from us and may have to be certified to be a budtender, which we will also provide for them. They have to be extremely professional and great at interfacing with the public. We are ‘The Library,’ and with that being said, we are looking to provide a sophisticated, upscale environment of learning that caters to the mature consumer. Patience will be a virtue and a prerequisite! Definitely must be tech savvy and PC-proficient, in addition to being dependable and successful in problem solving. Being creative, cooperative, and able to meet deadlines when working on multiple projects is a bonus.”

Dishmen and Penn added that they’ll also be looking to hire people from the area in order to meet the state’s requirement that 50 percent of the employees must be from West Orange or a neighboring municipality.

Now that New Jersey voters have legalized recreational marijuana, a multi-million-dollar green rush is expected to sweep the state over the next few years. Factor in an already booming medical marijuana program, and it adds up to a much-needed win for job seekers in the Garden State, advocates have claimed.

In 2020, Vangst, a Denver-based recruitment company that tracks jobs nationwide, offered predictions about the upcoming marijuana employment market in New Jersey.

According to Vangst, in 2020, there were 2,356 cannabis jobs in New Jersey as part of its medical marijuana program, which launched in 2010. But after the state’s recreational sales get going, that total is expected to balloon to a whopping 21,393 within five years.

The first wave of job expansion will likely be for production positions, such as horticulturists/growers, scientists and compliance specialists. After that, a second wave of retail jobs is expected to follow, including dispensary “budtenders” and inventory managers.

Edible manufacturers will also see a big jump in job growth, researchers predicted.

In 2017, Scott Rudder of the New Jersey CannaBusiness Association shared a list of legal marijuana jobs that already exist in the state with Patch.

“The excitement surrounding the legal cannabis industry and New Jersey’s role and opportunities is amazing,” enthused the former Republican state legislator, mayor of Medford and Lockheed Martin executive.

“After 80 years of prohibition, cannabis has been given a bad reputation based on outdated information and stereotypes which still cause concerns for some people today,” Rudder said. “Once you get a look at recent statistical data as well as research conducted by scientists and medical professionals, you learn that this plant – which has been part of our cultural and medical history for thousands of years – is just a plant.”

Send local news tips and correction requests to eric.kiefer@patch.com


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