Stephanie Ostrander is a key member of the Cannabis At Work recruitment team. We sat down with Stef to hear her story about joining the cannabis industry.
What do you do at Cannabis At Work?
I’m a (glamorous) Recruitment Consultant. I find great people for great cannabis jobs.
How long have you worked there?
Where did you work before Cannabis At Work?
I worked at the Edmonton Public Library for 16 years.
How did you end up working for a cannabis company?
Two years ago I decided I needed a full throttle career change to shake out the cobwebs. I was looking for an industry that required transferable skills rather than years of experience. The cannabis industry is fast moving, fun and requires dedicated, open-minded people willing to go the extra mile. It was perfect for me.
Did you have any hesitation about working for a cannabis company?
No, I love the courage, resilience, and intense work ethic of canna professionals.
What did your friends and family think?
There were some long pauses from the older generation and embarrassment from my teens. It’s been good fun watching them soak it in.
What do you like most about working in this sector? What is the most challenging? What has surprised you the most?
I love the people in this industry.
One of the most challenging things is one minute a company is full steam ahead and the next minute it’s pumping the brakes because the legislation and government processes are in constant flux. This can be a challenging environment to operate in but keeps me on my toes.
What surprises me the most is some of the provincial governments have not engaged their public, aren’t admitting to the subsidized income that cannabis has provided for many years and aren’t jumping at the opportunity to create more legitimate jobs, educational programs, international economic opportunities and tax revenue. It’s stunning really…. cough cough BC, Quebec.
What specialized knowledge have you had to acquire to work in this industry or in your current role?
I’ve had to research and learn about good growing and quality assurance practices for cannabis production. I’ve also had to understand the details of the ACMPR especially with regards to security clearance for the PIC status. Reading cannabis news and info is a full time job in itself!
What makes Cannabis At Work a great place to work?
I have a smart, confident, astute boss and she took a chance on me so I love being part of the team. Also, I am building a crazy lifestyle by wanting to work on the road, on my boat, in my glorified camping spot in Nicaragua and she is open to seeing if it works for her and the company.
As you look ahead, what excites you most about this industry?
Jobs, so many jobs, and so much economic opportunity. A shift towards natural plant-based medicine for insomnia, pain, nausea, depression, endurance... it’s endless really. And let’s not forget the cost savings to the policing, judicial, and penal system, etc.
What advice would you give to someone considering a career change into the cannabis sector?
Get involved with a local cannabis professionals networking organization like CaneXions.ca, attend cannabis conferences in your city, create a canna-centric resume, read, read, read online cannabis news sources such as The Weed Report, Lift, The Herb Lifestyle, and Civilized. Then call me :)