7 Recruiting Firms Focused on the Cannabis Skills Shortage

As the burgeoning cannabis industry looks set to create a potentially $130 billion market by the mid-2020s, employees and employers alike are scrambling to take advantage of what is likely to be the next major worldwide industry. While tons of people and companies are sure they want to get on the cannabis bandwagon, many are not exactly sure how to take advantage, to say nothing of the cannabis skills shortage.

When a company, new or established, goes looking for new talent they can do it themselves or hire a talent acquisition firm or recruitment and staffing agency to find qualified candidates for them. These firms take on companies as clients and find qualified talent within a pool of applicants, often creating a long-term strategic partnership with the said client. These firms are an invaluable asset for both job seekers and employers, as they remove a lot of the negative impacts that come from posting an opening on a job site.

Cannabis is a unique industry- it has its toes dipped into many pools, from agriculture to sales to industrial production, plus marketing and HR, as well as licensing and legal. All of these require specialized training, and often companies are growing too fast to find appropriate staff. This has led to a cannabis skills shortage among startups, a problem that is being tackled head-on by the following 7 staffing and recruitment firms who have chosen to focus on the cannabis market.

Cannabis Compliance Inc 

Cannabis Compliance calls itself “Canada’s original cannabis consulting firm.” While they focus primarily on acquiring Health Canada compliance for their medical cannabis client companies, they also have a robust recruitment portal where interested candidates can search for and apply to jobs in the cannabis industry. Jobs are varied and, at press time, range from “Cultivation Consultant” positions in Toronto, Halifax, and Nova Scotia to an Account Manager position in Montreal. Cannabis Compliance also provides Executive search services for its clients.

Cannabis Compliance has a healthy social media presence, with a few thousand followers across Twitter and Instagram. Karina Lahnakoski, Cannabis Compliance Inc’s
Vice President, Pharmaceutical Cannabis Services, has a respectable Twitter presence herself, as does Brian Wagner, the Chairman of the Board of Cannabis Compliance.

Cannabis At Work

Cannabis At Work claims it is “Canada’s leading source for cannabis jobs, recruitment services, online industry training, and HR consulting.” In addition to their recruitment services, Cannabis At Work has a substantial blog full of information on working in the cannabis industry as well as up-to-date news on cannabis in Canada and around the world.

While their job portal isn’t as robust as Cannabis Compliance, their recruitment is the only service in Canada that also offers training and HR consulting in the cannabis industry. They offer a salary guide to the cannabis industry for purchase on their website: valuable information for those seeking a career in the nascent industry.

The Founder of Cannabis At Work, Alison McMahon, has a healthy social media presence along with the company itself.

Careers Cannabis

Careers Cannabis has an attractive site design that leads to a robust job search portal with thousands of jobs in the Canadian cannabis industry. Careers Cannabis grew out of a small team at WeWork, the community workspace company, and has a similar slick & unobtrusive design.

Careers Cannabis has all the expected bells and whistles of a job search site, with a machine learning algorithm to match candidates with the right job seekers. The site also has a number of links to news articles, so job seekers can do some research on their chosen industry while browsing for jobs. The site also advertises a “pop culture influenced” podcast, Podcast Cannabis, but it wasn’t live at press time.

IQ Partners 

IQ Partners has been around for a long time and has tons of experience as an executive staffing agency. They have recently taken this experience and begun to specialize in the Canadian cannabis industry, specifically mentioning their experience in finding staff for fast-growing companies and startups. They find the staff at all levels from, CEO to IT, and everything in between.



The gig economy has arrived in the cannabis industry in the form of Vangst, which uses an app to connect employers with job seekers. While the company bread-and-butter is clearly Vangst Gigs, the temporary work app, they also provide a more traditional staffing model with over 150,000 active candidates from entry-level to executive.



Cannabis Consulting

As their name suggests, Cannabis Consulting is focused primarily on finding cannabis specialist consultants for enterprise clients in the cannabis industry. Their consultants cover a wide variety of expertise, from cannabis law and licensing to web design and marketing.


Viridian Staffing

Viridian Staffing provides staffing solutions to all sectors of the cannabis industry from medical, to recreational, and industrial hemp. They have been active since 2013 and their recruiters have decades of experience staffing and headhunting for Fortune 500 companies. They are focused not only on recruiting but on HR consulting and advisory board development, among many other specialized areas in this growing industry. Viridian sells itself as a “strategic partner” and says they are not a “resume mill” and don’t “post and pray” like other firms.

Lots of Options, Lots of Potential

The cannabis skills shortage is just one unexpected outcome in this booming industry. While these recruiting firms have taken the initiative in meeting the demand, there will undoubtedly be further issues that arise as companies and governments alike adjust to the new world of legalized cannabis.

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