Students in cannabis programs bring skills from all sorts of backgrounds, including:
- Pharmacy – the two industries are similarly regulated
- Food quality assurance – especially with edibles being introduced soon, food science backgrounds are useful
- Beauty and cosmetics – with a likely influx of beauty and cosmetic CBD products on the horizon, these backgrounds feed well into cannabis
When it comes to cannabis retail in particular, students with a background in retail bring transferable skills with them that can apply well to this career path. Read on for some transferable skills that could make you a wonderful cannabis retailer!
Customer Service Skills for Cannabis Retail
Some employees are naturally good with people and will find that they easily succeed in customer service. Others may have experience working in other environments or industries where they developed these skills. If you can read people, help them find what they are looking for, and can cater to their needs in terms of communication styles, your skills will shine when working in cannabis retail.
As Conor Purdon, Cannabis Retail Program Developer of AAPS says, “At the end of the day it is still retail and it is still really kind of providing customer service, so any kind of job related to customer service will most definitely translate very well to that”.
Backgrounds such as the following develop customer service skills:
- customer service representation
- public-facing administration
- call centres
Communication Is key in Cannabis Retail
Whether you have experience with cannabis products or not, eventually you will need to demonstrate expertise in order to work well in cannabis stores. Since there is a great deal of misinformation available online and elsewhere, communicating the right information is key. Important factors to consider are:
- Professionalism – you are not permitted to give medical advice in a recreational retail position, so you will need tact and clarity in cases where customers request it.
- Teamwork – it takes teamwork to maintain a safe and socially responsible environment. Being able to effectively listen and talk to your coworkers is important for smooth operations.
- Product knowledge – understanding the products available on the market and knowing how to sell them to customers will give you a higher chance of promotion and success in your career. You can use experience with memorizing other product knowledge to strengthen your skills.
If you’re planning to open a cannabis business, a program that equips you with the ability to provide accurate information in a way that is legally permitted will prepare you for dealing with different customer concerns. In addition to this training, your natural people skills can make you great at selling products. As Conor says, “Most people, if they are outgoing and interested in meeting new people and easy to talk to and have good communication skills, then you know there’s a good chance they’ll be successful at retail as well”.
Hard Skills that You Can Bring to the Cannabis Industry
Since reporting is very strict in the cannabis industry, there are some detail-oriented hard skills that employers look for, such as:
- Bookkeeping and accounting
- Data analytics and analysis
- Data entry
- An ability to pick up on and learn about new software or technology quickly, such as seed-to-sale, point of sale, or inventory software
Learning new tech systems as the industry grows will likely be a part of staying relevant and keeping up with customer demands as time goes on. If you choose to work in wholesale, skills like data entry will remain very important to your success.
Do you want to become a cannabis distributor?
Contact AAPS to find out how our courses can help!