Lucy D.
  • March 1, 2022
  • 0 Comment

Introduction: Examining the Dispensary Job Possibilities for Felons

It's no secret that obtaining a job with a felony is a challenging task, especially for the cannabis industry. There is a high level of trust between operators and their employees to be established before you get hired. The first obvious obstacle to getting hired at a dispensary is the comprehensive background check. If you have any prior drug charges, then you will most likely not get a job where you're handling the product.

However, there are undoubtedly other opportunities that might present themselves if you're diligent in obtaining a job in the Colorado cannabis industry. If you have a felony, it's possible to get it expunged after some time, so it doesn't appear on the background check. Each state has different regulations and requirements for a charge to be negated, and with the changing laws regarding cannabis, this is more than possible. It's important to stay positive if you're a felon actively seeking a job in the business!

Is it possible to work in a dispensary with a felony?

The short answer to this question is yes, but it's challenging. Felons are working in certain dispensaries, but many of them have already been expunged on their crimes before getting a job there. Becoming a budtender is next to impossible if you're a convicted felon with a charge related to theft or drug trafficking. It simply means you're a liability and significant risk for any growth or sales operation.

The elephant in the room regarding felonies is cannabis-related drug charges. If you have a felony for using or carrying cannabis only, your chances are looking much better for getting a job or expunging charges. Some states are more stringent than others, but all dispensaries look unfavorably on any background involving crime, no matter what. But certain things can be overlooked because if any employer would give you a second chance after you were caught with a small personal stash, it's a dispensary.

The Importance of Great References & Mentors

You can definitely work in some dispensaries with a felony, and it would be a good idea to talk to someone who has been through that experience. They can give you insight into the struggles along the way in your home state. From there, you can get some valuable advice on how to proceed in getting a job.

Good references can make or break you in this position, and having someone to vouch for your character is essential for cementing trust for the long term. After all, trustworthiness is what it's all about in the end when hiring new employees. The main concern of hiring a felon is obviously the loss of product or even damaging the operation's reputation. If specific rules aren't followed, then you can even risk getting your business shut down.

Laws vary across different states regarding felonies

Can a felon work at a dispensary in Colorado? Well, you will be more likely to get a job here than in other states, but it is preferred that the charges are effectively expunged from your record before your first day. If not, then you will have strict limitations on what positions you can take. When it comes to Arizona, you might as well move to another state if you're dead set on getting a job in the cannabis industry.

It's not possible here in AZ for convicted felons to obtain a job at any dispensary. With Oregon, you are immediately disqualified from working in a dispensary if you have a criminal history with even a misdemeanor. In Illinois, it's not an automatic disqualification if you have a felony. Still, in order to become a dispensary owner, you have to have a clean record for a minimum of 10 years.

The Background check: Felons Might Run Into Problems

Can a convicted felon work in a dispensary? There are definitely felons who have obtained jobs in dispensaries. Still, their duties are generally more limited than a regular employee, and your opportunities for growth in the industry might be stunted. However, you should discuss options with a lawyer about proceeding with appealing for the expungement of your record if your state was recently legalized.

From there, you can determine if it's possible to get a minor charge removed from your record. Dispensaries definitely view drug charges differently than other established businesses, and you will get more sympathy here than other corporate offices. Some have a strict no-tolerance policy for anything on the background check, and others will give you a chance to prove yourself.

Most prefer that you go through the motions of the judicial system to get things set right before applying. Never give up if you're passionate about this particular field!

Expect obstacles to block your path: Staying Persistent

Working at a dispensary with a felony is doable, but the better path is to get your charges expunged. If you can't, then your opportunities are definitely limited. It's not as black and white as some may claim, and there are definitely dispensaries out there to consider. If you fail your background check, it can be a discouraging situation, but it will be expected at least now.

It's best not to argue or negotiate with a dispensary after your check has been rejected. This might burn future bridges if you happen to get your record expunged. It's only feasible to do this in a legal state, so moving might be something that can serve to your advantage.

For instance, if you move to Denver, Colorado, with a felony to search for a job at a dispensary, then you'll have more chances than other freshly legalized states like Illinois. Before the background is conducted, be forthright with your employer about your history, and this will look good. Never give up because there is an opportunity somewhere for you!

Conclusion: You May Have Difficulty Getting a Dispensary Job with Prior Charges

The fact of the matter is that it's tough to get any job with a felony, even outside the cannabis field. However, you will have more opportunities in this specific industry because of certain leniencies regarding the changes in marijuana laws. Studying up about your particular state is an excellent idea that will yield a greater understanding of the situation.

Don't let a string of rejections get you down because that's to be expected if you have a felony. Diligence and persistence are essential when you're looking for a lucrative entry-level position. If you land a job in a dispensary with a prior charge, then your job will most likely be either clerical or administrative duties where you don't have access to the product.

Then you can establish trust and perhaps graduate to another position or eventually own your own dispensary after a few years! If you're a felon aspiring to this industry, then keep your head up because the demand for workers will continue to increase!


What qualifications do you need to be a master grower?

You have to be over 21 years old and have a degree in the related field. You also need prior experience in a lesser grow setting. Entry-level master grower positions will require a couple of years in a similar gardening setting.

Are master growers in demand?

Master growers are currently in demand, and the job prospects for the future are looking sound and secure with a growing and thriving industry!

How much do Budtenders get paid?

Budtenders get paid an average hourly wage of 14 per hour. Experienced tenders can make up to 20 an hour, and it will vary across each company and operation.

How much does an assistant grower make?

Every master needs an assistant, and this is a good position to enjoy before becoming one yourself. You can expect to make around 35-40k as an assistant, and you will also learn the ropes better through real-world application!

About the author

Lucy D.

Lucy D. of iBake is a Cannabis Industry activist and dedicated practitioner. She's the co-founder of iBake Denver 2.0, an online Medical Marijuana resource online for Colorado and beyond! Her love for great cooking mixed with her passion for Cannabis has provided Lucy with valuable knowledge & resources she willingly shares with all of us here. If you like weed-infused edible food products...Stay Tuned!

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