How Finance Professionals Can Break Into Canada’s Cannabis Industry


The cannabis industry has transformed from a niche market that was once considered taboo to a fast-growing, high-profile industry that has been attracting investors and becoming a hotbed of startups. Thanks to legislation that made recreational cannabis legal in October, the market is booming; CIBC predicts cannabis will become a $5-billion industry in Canada by 2020.

With  this focus on the business and investment aspects of the industry, cannabis companies have their financial work cut out for them.

As one of the most tightly regulated industries in the country, a serious demand has been created for finance professionals who are able to steer cannabis companies in the right direction and avoid potential auditing pitfalls. Some common practices a finance professional in the cannabis industry should be prepared for are:

  • keeping track of account records, transactions, and inventory for auditing purposes
  • spotting trends and suggesting courses of action based on the information
  • helping the company navigate tax issues and compliance concerns
  • providing deeper analytical insight into the numbers for future planning
  • educating investors on the unique financial aspects of the cannabis industry and how that affects their investments

So how does a skilled finance professional break into this exciting, rapidly expanding industry?

Get to Know the Industry

Start by researching the industry from a variety of angles including growing, selling, and marketing the products, and gain an understanding of the specific financial challenges the industry faces at all levels.

Stay up-to-date on pertinent cannabis-related news and issues by:

  • subscribing to relevant newsletters or blogs
  • tuning in to topical podcasts
  • following cannabis industry leaders on social media

In particular, finance professionals in the cannabis industry need to become experts on all legal aspects and tax issues involved. Cannabis is treated similar to other agricultural products under the IFRS (International Financial Reporting Standards), which involves:

  • valuing cannabis plants while they’re still in the ground
  • reporting net income for growing and harvesting, even in quarters where there were no sales

One of the major challenges facing the cannabis industry right now is the inconsistency in how companies apply these standards, making it crucial for finance professionals to be able to interpret the rules and regulations appropriately.

Build a Strong Network

Once you’ve got a good handle on the ins and outs of the industry, begin to reach out to key contacts at cannabis companies to express your interest and build on your knowledge. Some great ways to do this include:

  • reaching out to / following those in the cannabis industry via social media
  • looking for relevant training programs available locally or online
  • attending industry conferences, trade shows and other networking events

Try Traditional Job Search Methods

The recent growth in the cannabis industry means there are multiple channels through which finance jobs in the industry can be found. Traditional job search websites are now featuring posts for Canada’s top cannabis companies, as well as positions for smaller startups. There are also specialized job boards for the industry.

An especially effective method of finding the right finance role is working directly with a recruitment firm like Clarity Recruitment, which can expertly match your skill set and goals with potential job opportunities.

It’s important to share with recruiters and potential employers your keen understanding of the unique challenges the cannabis industry must deal with, and the flexibility and creative thinking you bring to the table. Show how your knowledge can help a company navigate the murky waters of the cannabis industry’s current financial standards and legal issues.

Your Next Step

No one should walk the job search or hiring road alone. At Clarity Recruitment, we help others realize their success through a process that marries proprietary technology with unwavering commitment. Contact us today to take control of your career, or to partner with us to hire well.

Clarity Recruitment, connecting exceptional people with remarkable companies.

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