DENVER (AP) — When Tim Cullen was opening his first marijuana business four years ago, the high school biology teacher turned pot entrepreneur struggled to get resumes and references from job applicants.
“Everyone’s experience was on the black market,” Cullen said. Now, he said, “it’s come out of the closet.”
Out of the closet, down the street and around the corner. That’s where the line of hopefuls stretched Thursday outside a central Denver office building that was hosting a marijuana industry job fair.
Cullen, who owns two retail marijuana shops and is a partner in a company that makes hash oil and another that makes vaporizers, was among representatives from about a dozen businesses reviewing applications.
O.penVAPE, Cullen’s vaporizers company, organized the fair to meet its own growing staffing needs and help others in the industry, said company spokesman Todd Mitchem.
Voters in Colorado and Washington approved sales of marijuana for recreational use in 2012, and recreational sales began first in Colorado, in January. This week, in the world’s first such accounting, the Colorado Department of Revenue reported the state made roughly $2 million in marijuana taxes in January; that is expected to grow as more retailers are licensed.
Among the employers at Thursday’s job fair was a tour company looking for guides to help pot tourists navigate Colorado’s newest industry. Hemp Temps, a specialist staffing agency, and Medicine Man, a dispensary, were also hunting for candidates. Job descriptions included bud tender, sales representative and web designer.
Organizers said they had heard beforehand from more than 600 jobseekers who planned to attend. Mitchem said the company may need a bigger venue for the next fair, which he said is already in the works.
Ian Howe, among the jobseekers in line on Thursday, said he was a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America in New York, and hoped to find work with a company that infuses marijuana into foods, or try his hand at growing marijuana.
Howe, 23, said he moved to Colorado just 3 1/2 weeks ago, and found the state a good fit.
“I’ve always been an outdoorsy guy, and I’ve always liked to smoke weed,” he said.
Near Howe in line, Michael Rubens and Tim Miller chatted about what they hoped to get out of the fair. Rubens said he wanted to find a business that might want to exploit his ideas for marijuana ice cream.
Miller said he was an IT financial specialist who could offer the marijuana industry expertise on banking. The federal government earlier this year issued guidance for banks that at least recognizes that many operate in states where marijuana sales are legal. It did not, however, clarify how banks can do business with pot shops and stay on the right side of federal law, which outlaws the drug.
At the fair, Miller and Rubens compared notes about job hunting. Miller had 15 resumes in his briefcase. Rubens said with a laugh that he had “20 — I’m more prepared.”
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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (6/18-6/24)
25 photos Launch gallery
1. Me & the homie @jaleelwhite #RujohnFoundation Happy to be in Jamaica! Good times
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5. Good Morning. Early day in Detroit! Making press rounds for @thebossnetwork's Ladies That Lead Tour. Thank you @traycemadre and @colourbynumbr for my glam.
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6. POWER the best show on TV @djenvy, Queens we so big out here. #EFFENVODKA #FRIGO
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7. They said u lost a step, wasn't explosive as once was, the best days was in the real view, questioned your drive, your leadership, your commitment, you don't have killer instinct, going back home is the worst mistake in your career, he got the coach fired, players traded, won't work between him and Kyrie, Him and Kev won't work, love your teammates to much, there's no way he can deliver a championship in his hometown, etc etc etc.... But guess what THATS NONE OF MY BUSINESS #StriveForGreatness #ThisOneIsForTheLand #PutSomeRespeckOnMyName Hahahaha!!! Yes sir
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8. Oooooh weeee this man right here is responsible for at least three of our four babies!! #JOE ❤❤❤🎤 #rnb #king #voicelikebutter #ForPeetesSake
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9. Hanging with my @abcnetwork family! @abcunclebuck tonite y'all check us out ! @anthonyanderson @traceeellisross
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10. My broski ( @sayeedshahidi ) and I are on Top 5 Live on @go90 at 5 (which is super duper close)! Make sure to tune in :) #UncleBuck #Blackish
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11. Lights out💤 #GoodNight
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12. Late nights mornings
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13. Ran into the lovely talented @siedahgarrett on this brutiful favvuz deh!
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14. #halal #love #thedargans #kattwilliamsSHOW #mashallah when that Jennah piece HIT!! @sweetjennahcollection glasses by @baddieglamaccessories LIZ 😍 @dynamiteko top @dazzledmv and jeans @thevision414 and shoes: @louboutinworld
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15. Big Hair and Optical Illusions #OceanDrive #MiamiLiving #coverparty
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16. MAMA and THE SAVAGES ... ⚓️ #supportyourlocalgirlgang
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17. From the bottom of my ❤️, thank you new followers & old! & hello fellow night owls! #grateful #racheltrue #naturalhair #curlyhair #curlygirl #healthyhair
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18. I feel so grateful because I met these amazing young minds, visiting from Houston TX, during their college tour stop today at #usc.These students are ALL extraordinary and embody academic excellence so I'm humbled to have shared a few moments with them to applaud and celebrate their bright futures ahead! Thank you @EmergeFellows for inviting me to speak and blessing me with your love and attention this afternoon!
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19. Happy Fathers Day Pops. U taught me how to be a man. Lessons of love, hard work & gratefulness. Sorry the fishing didn't stick. LOL. I Love U!
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20. Sky Zone and Ice Cream! Best Fathers Day Ever!! Photo credit @mariahcarey
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21. Look what finally came in the mail 😎 #mtvmovieawards2016 💥+🌽! #straightouttacompton
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22. Claudia Jordan: ....
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23. 'Member that time I almost knocked a bajillion dollar camera off the car? Really? Yeah, me neither! #Greenleaf Episode 2 comin atcha!
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24. Full of love. #birthday #Cabo
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25. Oh hey! Look who just joined Snapchat
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