What do you need to work in a dispensary in Ohio
What do you need to work in cannabis in Ohio

The legalization of cannabis in Ohio has opened up a variety of opportunities in the cannabis industry. While this may be true, actually landing a job will take some research, dedication, and perseverance.

For instance, you’ll need to understand the legal landscape and the  requirements needed to enter this growing field.

Overview of the Legal Status of Cannabis in Ohio

In Ohio, medical marijuana has been legal for qualifying patients with a recommendation from a certified physician. However, in November of 2023, voters in Ohio approved the ballot measure for State Issue 2, making it the 24th state to legalize recreational cannabis for adult use.

At the moment, The Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program oversees the cultivation, processing, testing, and dispensing of medical marijuana throughout the state. But, this will change as a new Division of Cannabis Control is set to be established within the Department of Commerce.

This division is anticipated to introduce fresh regulations and requirements for participation in the Ohio regulated cannabis industry. In the interim, the market is expected to adhere to the existing medical market requirements in the state.

Growing Industry Opportunities in Cannabis Dispensaries

The demand for cannabis continues to rise in Ohio, which could generate numerous job opportunities, including roles in cultivation, processing, retail, and distribution.

Cannabis legalization in Ohio isn’t just about personal consumption. The impact on the economy could be HUGE, with estimates over $260M.

A study by Columbus-based Scioto Analysis predicted that “Ohio will add roughly 3,300 new jobs in the first year after legalization,” the report said. “Assuming these jobs are full time and pay matches the average wage across the state of Ohio, this will amount to about $190 million in wage benefits for workers across the state.”

Requirements to Work in Cannabis in Ohio

Educational Qualifications and Certifications

As of now, Ohio has three categories for dispensary workers:

    • Associated Key Employee (AKE): an owner or prospective owner, officer or board member or prospective board member of the entity seeking a dispensary license.
    • Key Employee (KE):  an administrator or other person responsible for the daily operation of a licensed dispensary.
    • Support Employee (SE): an employee who works within a dispensary but doesn’t have authority to make operational decisions.

For a Certificate of Operation (CoO) to be issued and to maintain ongoing compliance with the dispensary rules, all employees working in a dispensary need to be licensed (as an AKE, KE or SE) and display a board-issued ID when on licensed dispensary premises. Staff sufficient to operate in compliance with representations made in the dispensary application must be licensed as a condition precedent to receiving a CoO.

While there are no specific educational certifications required to work in a dispensary, obtaining a certification like our Dispensary Agent Certification can enhance your credentials.

Age and Legal Requirements
    • Individuals must be at least 21 years old to work in a dispensary in Ohio.
    • Prospective employees are subject to thorough background checks to ensure compliance with state regulations. Any prior criminal convictions related to drug offenses may disqualify an individual from working in a dispensary.
    • Submission of the dispensary license application
    • A 2” x 2” head and shoulder photograph captured within the previous six months
    • Name and license number of the dispensary employing the applicant
    • Name, license number, and signature of the designated representative for the dispensary employing the applicant (only applicable for Support Employee license)
    • Copy of government-issued ID
    • Applicant’s full residential address
    • A sworn, notarized statement that the applicant has not been convicted of a disqualifying offense in any jurisdiction
    • Applicant’s social security number
    • Fingerprint and background check
    • Required fee of $100 for dispensary support employees, $250 for dispensary key employees, and $500 for dispensary-associated key employees

Skills and Traits Desired by Dispensaries

Customer Service Skills

Excellent interpersonal skills and the ability to provide exceptional customer service are essential for working in a dispensary. Employees often interact with patients and guests seeking medical advice and guidance.

Knowledge of Cannabis Strains and Products

Aside from customer service, you’ll also need a solid understanding of different cannabis strains, products, and their effects. Employees should be able to educate patients on various products, their onset times, and their potential benefits.

Ability to Work in a Regulated Environment

Cannabis companies operate within strict regulatory frameworks, requiring employees to adhere to all state laws and regulations governing the cultivation, manufacturing, sale, and distribution of medical marijuana.

How to Get Started Working in a Dispensary

Research Available Job Opportunities

Online job portals like Indeed or LinkedIn and Industry-Specific websites like Vangst.com often list job openings in dispensaries. If those aren’t working fast enough for you, you can also try working with an industry-specific recruiting company like FlowerHire to get the ball rolling.

Building your network within the industry can help you get a leg up with new opportunities. Attending industry events, joining professional associations, and networking with individuals already working in the cannabis industry can help provide valuable insights and job leads.

Craft a Compelling Resume and Cover Letter

Tailor your resume to highlight any relevant experience, such as previous work in customer service or healthcare, as well as any certifications or training related to the cannabis industry. Be sure to emphasize your passion for the cannabis industry and its potential to improve peoples’ lives. If you need more ideas, we created a quick guide that can help you create an interview-worthy resume.

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