While many other states and regions are putting legislation in place so that those impacted most by the drug war can now benefit from it, Florida is just saying no to applicants who either love weed or who have been convicted of anything at all, including cannabis violations.
A passion for consuming marijuana is just not something to bring up at a job interview for budtender, dispensary manager or any other cannabis related job in Florida, according to the Orlando Sentinel. Apparently, some low-level, simple possession cases will possibly make it into the fray, but for the most part if you’ve got caught toking, your chances of working in the Florida industry are slim to none.
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The powers that be have their reasons, like that money handling takes a lot of concentration. But as the Sentinel reported, working in the cannabis businesses grants workers slightly higher pay than other industries in Florida, thus creating an incentive for those with pristine records to apply. It’s yet another way that those who care about the plant can get pushed out of participating in the industry’s growth.
It’s a sad bit of irony. Activists and advocates have fought a long time to get us where we are now with cannabis, and one of the platforms they’ve stood on is to either free non-violent offenders, expunge their records, or at least give them a second chance. Just recently, Sacramento became the fourth city in California to make sure that 50 percent of their hires in recreational cannabis were of those most impacted by the Drug War.
It doesn’t seem fair that if you’ve been convicted of what is no longer a crime that you should still be penalized for it. Especially if the offense is cannabis, the job is cannabis related and we’re operating under the ospis that this is a compassionate movement.
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Really, the Florida industry doesn’t need to hire people with experience in weed, as applications are pouring in by the hundreds for all different positions and employers have their pick of the cream of the crop. Just not the crop they’ll be peddling.
The medical marijuana industry in Florida is projected to bring in $456 million in sales this year alone and by 2022 the Sunshine State is estimated to create up to 25,000 jobs in the industry. Sadly, that’s a large market that will be ironically furthering a stigma about a plant business owners plan to profit on greatly. As Rodney Dangerfield would say on behalf of Floridian pot imbibers, “I get no respect around here.”