BC's cannabis stores not ruling out hiring employees from black market

Jul 26 2018, 5:17 pm

Looking to start your cannabis career?

The BC Liquor Distribution Branch (LDB) is now accepting applications for its Kamloops location, BC’s first government-run cannabis store which is set to open this fall after federal legalization.

“We’re looking for people with experience or expertise in the industry,” communications coordinator for the LDB, Kate Bilney, told Daily Hive over the phone.

Bilney said that customer service skills are at the top of the list, as well as an ability to “retain a high level of knowledge because cannabis can be quite complex in terms of product information.”

As for those who already have experience in the cannabis industry, Bilney said, “we recognize that we’re known for our BC bud, so there are a lot of people who have been working in the area for quite some time, and we will certainly recognize product knowledge.”

“If they demonstrate that they can effectively work in our environment and transfer their skills and knowledge base from their previous experience, that is certainly something that we’ll consider.”

Black or grey market experience will not disqualify someone from being considered for employment, although Bilney was not able to confirm whether a previous criminal record stemming from cannabis charges would disqualify applicants. A criminal record check will be required, but the LDB is has not finalized their policy on the matter.

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The LDB will provide training to all employees, both through a provincial program that is similar to Serving It Right for the alcohol industry, and in-house program that focuses more on product knowledge “to equip our cannabis consultants with the information they need to engage with our customers appropriately.”

Cannabis consultants will be limited in terms of the medical and therapeutic claims they make, such as identifying strains that may help with sleep or anxiety. Instead, customers will be directed to the LDB’s e-commerce website, where they can learn more about potential effects. Bilney could not comment on which organizations the LDB is working with, but said that they are collaborating with “government authorities” to include content on their site, including information regarding social responsibility.

The Kamloops BC Liquor Store is currently accepting applications for the following positions:

  • Store Manager, one position available. Starting salary: $54,000-$75,400.
  • Assistant Store Manager, two positions available. Starting salary: $46,337.21-$52,488.28.
  • Cannabis Consultant, eight positions available. Starting salary: $40,394.06-$45,617.40

“We’re hoping that anyone interested in the role and the industry, and thinks they would be a good fit will come and inquire about joining our team,” Bilney said.

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