5 Reasons The Cannabis Industry Is Like A Teen Mom

update Jun 08, 2022

When I was a young mother, I never saw myself working professionally with cannabis companies. I'm sure the plant itself never anticipated becoming a global market either.

I had my son when I was 17 and my daughter when I was 19. By 22, I had divorced their father, who was an alcoholic. The maternal drive to provide eventually landed me in a corporate banking job. After dedicating 21 years of loyalty, I was let go in 2019. From there, I transitioned my skills in professional talent development to cannabis. You can read more about that story here.

After spending time in the industry and getting to know its challenges, I began to see similarities between it and myself. The cannabis industry is a lot like a single teen mom trying to make it against all odds.

How the Cannabis Industry is Like a Teen Mom

1) She is still young and inexperienced.

She is also free-spirited and feisty. Likewise, the regulated industry is barely ten years old and still stirs controversy. It has some experience from the legacy market and can learn from older, established enterprises, but for the most part, it's navigating a new life of responsibility alone.

2) She has dependents.

Motherhood gets overwhelming for everyone, but for a young, single mom, she often spends more time worrying about staying afloat than she does playing with her kids.

In the cannabis industry, companies spend most of their time fretting about compliance and less time doing what they really love. There are also millions of people who depend on medical cannabis for their health and wellbeing.

3) Everyone expects her to have it all figured out but won't let her prove herself because she is young.

The government wants to see more research to prove efficacy and safety but won't reschedule the plant to allow for additional clinical, randomized, and double-blind studies. Talk about a catch-22.

Meanwhile, there are thousands of research papers on cannabis in existence. Cannabis is waving her arms in the air and shouting as the adults in charge turn their backs towards her.

4) The adults in her life think they know best, even when they don't.

Every generation complains, 'what's wrong with kids these days?' The answer is simple: times change. That's the only constant in this world. And when the times change, old rules don't make sense anymore, especially in an industry like cannabis, where the culture is changing very fast.

Unlike draconian industries like finance, where regulations are clear and established, policymakers in charge of cannabis have a very limited understanding of what works and what doesn't. Maybe they'd learn something if they asked the kids what they think.

5) Her resources are limited.

She gets judged no matter how hard she works to provide for herself and her children. Knowing she's fighting an uphill battle, she tries to learn new skills to improve her situation. But she might not be able to afford college tuition and doesn't have the time for it, so she tries to learn wherever she can.

The cannabis industry is also on its own when it comes to education. Employees frequently learn through a game of telephone from co-workers who have barely been there longer than them.

Most industries have high turnover rates, but in cannabis, 60% of employees don't last past two months. And after three months, only 14% of the same employees are still there. This problem is primarily due to how fast-paced the industry is and how there is no vetted framework in place to train people.


The Good News is She's Not Alone

Running a cannabis company, like being a single teen mom, is hard work. She wears multiple hats, just like how I've seen acting operations managers become the default training manager.

Cannabis is new and uncharted, but that's what's so appealing about it. It also has the largest community of passionate and dedicated people I've ever seen. Because of this, I’m not worried about her future.

It's exciting to build things from the ground up, but having systems in place to keep you on track and within regulations is essential for maintaining profits, talent, and sanity.

At Rocky Mountain Cannabis Consulting, I scaled the training program to identify the knowledge, education, workflows, and tools teams need to do what they do best. I'm offering the same services for your company. Whether you need a new perspective or objective feedback, reach out for my organizational training services.

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