Judgment and Bias in the Cannabis Industry

In 2012, I was protesting in Maryland & D.C. for the legalization of cannabis. Where Were You?

I recently went on a job interview for a bud-tender position at one of my favorite dispensaries. At the beginning of the interview, he asked if there was anything on my record they should know about.

I was honest and upfront with him – my life is an open book. I told him that I have a misdemeanor theft/burglary and some DUIs on my record – all from over 5 years ago.

I explained to him that for many years I had a terrible drinking problem, but cannabis was my gateway away from that. I went on to tell him about the theft/burglary charge and that I was blackout drunk one night and I broke into a gas station (while they were closed) and stole a few hundred dollars.

The manager commended me for my honesty and said “I understand that things happen in people’s life that can’t be changed, but people can change – we all have things in our past we’re not proud of”.

After he said that, it put my anxiety at ease a bit and the interview went on for another hour! I thought it went great – I really thought I was going to get the job! I was able to demonstrate a knowledge and passion for cannabis that the manager said was “on a whole other level than 99% of applicants”. He also said that he was very impressed with my extensive experience in sales and customer service.

The interview ended with the manager saying: “You would be a tremendous asset to not only this dispensary but to the cannabis industry as a whole”. He said he would hire me right then and there, but he had to run it passed the owners who are from a different state.

After a few days, I got an e-mail from the dispensary manager that said:

“Hi Adam,  Thank you for coming in last week for an interview. Unfortunately, we cannot move forward with your application due to the complications of a background check. If there is a silver lining here, this decision was made by the owners based on prior experiences they’ve had. I did some digging in the MMCC regulations and you should be able to clear the background check for their purposes. They will definitely see any history so it’s always best to be honest with any potential employer, just as you were with us. Best of Luck.”

As you can imagine, I was pretty disappointed. This was unfortunately just one of many interviews that went amazing but I didn’t get the job because of my past. Anyone that knows me, will tell you that I am absolutely a changed person because of cannabis and I’m NOT the person I used to be.

There needs to be less judgment and bias in the cannabis industry. There are so many people like myself who would innovate and revolutionize this industry – IF and ONLY IF – we were not judged by our pasts and the people we used to be.

After this interview, I stopped applying for jobs in the cannabis industry and put all of my energy and focus into developing my own cannabis business – teaching people how to grow their own cannabis!

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Published by TastyTerpenes

Cannabis consulting, education, dispensary training, and cultivation education.

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