NORTH KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Medical marijuana is on its way to Missouri, and that means so are new jobs.
On Tuesday, between 100 and 200 job seekers turned out for a first-of-its-kind job fair in the Kansas City area.
Between 3,500 and 4,000 people are expected to be directly employed in the cannabis industry in 2020 in Missouri. The Missouri Cannabis Trade Association expects that number to grow.
Missouri's Department of Health has until the end of the year to award 348 licenses to facilities that will cultivate, manufacture and dispense medical marijuana. Once they get those licenses, the race will be on to be among the first to be able to serve clients with medical marijuana cards.
"They have to get their facility in place, but more importantly they need to hire good trustworthy people they know are going to provide good customer service," said Jack Cardetti, spokesman for the Missouri Cannabis Trade Association.
Cardetti believes Missouri will have a good crop of applicants for growing marijuana because of the state's farming background.
"There's so many different fields you can be in with medical marijuana. You can be in the field. You can be planting. You can be in distribution. You can be so many different things," Wesley Burns said, holding his resume.
Companies like Cannabis Inc. are also are looking for people who have worked in food processing for some of the edibles and oils and customer service for the dispensaries. He added they have the same needs as all companies including human resources and information technology.
"As weird as it sounds for the industry, one of the things that I'm really looking for is professionalism because this industry is going to be under such scrutiny, especially in the beginning. We have to make sure that our employees are very meticulous," Cannabis Inc. co-owner Justin Callaghan said.
Industry leaders project medical marijuana will have an annual economic impact of $500 million in Missouri. People interested in applying for medical marijuana jobs in Missouri can find more information here.