A woman from Pierce County, Angel Swanson, has opened an employment agency for the marijuana industry. Marijuana is legal in the state of Washington, so Swanson is trying to find jobs for people in this industry, according to the Bellingham Herald.
The agency, Green Staffing Solutions, is run by Swanson, a pair of partners, her son and a close friend. Open only for a couple of weeks, she already has a couple hundred people looking for work.
Angel, and her husband Scott, operate two medical marijuana dispensaries in Pierce County. The couple has also applied for a license that would legally allow them to sell recreational cannabis products.
Swanson, knowing that jobs will be created, opened the agency. Jobs will come in the form of quality control experts, agricultural workers, warehouse personnel, drivers and store clerks.
Swanson came up with the idea after attending a meeting for Initiative 502, which legalized recreational use of marijuana in the state.
“It became evident that there were very few minorities, Asians or Hispanics, involved,” she said. “Also, there were some women there, but a limited number. Culturally, minorities will hold back and see. We get whacked first and we get whacked the hardest.”
Swanson believes that thousands of new businesses will be created because of the legalization of marijuana. She said that licensed growers, processors and retail sellers will need to hire bookkeepers and people to transport the product. There will also need to be security guards hired to protect the grow operations. Then add in cooks and beverage experts to make edible and drinkable cannabis products.
“How do these businesses become staffed? How do we get people into this industry? A staffing company makes perfect sense,” Swanson said.
Swanson said that the industry is staffed now by “friends and family. There has to be a high level of trust. Many businesses don’t have the skills to do background checks and job interviews, check references and do screening in general.”
“We screen, do drug tests and background checks,” she said. “We do an assessment test for candidates, basic math, English, to make sure they can handle customers.”
Marcos Zuniga, the drug policy outreach coordinator from the ACLU of Washington, said, “I think (the company) is a great idea. I think she’s got the right vision and the right heart. All power to her.”
Swanson continued with, “The employment industry has not reached out to the cannabis industry.”
When word was sent out to the public about her staffing agency’s website, it crashed due to the overwhelming response.
“Take what you do for a living and ask how it can apply to the cannabis industry,” she said. “There are so many people who want to be a part of this.”Pierce County Woman Opens Employment Agency for Marijuana Industry by Jim Vassallo