Hey guys, so I’m a chemical engineering major heading into my 3rd year, and to be able to join together my two passions is my dream - the only reason I am pursuing my major. I still feel a bit misguided though, in need of direction. My real dream is to own my own dispensary and oversee all the day-to-day work as well as manage the company overall, but even more specifically, it is to somehow be involved in extraction. I’ve been heavyily into concentrates for about 7 or 8 years now, and it’s safe to say that it is truly my passion. I don’t simply want to be another lab tech, I want to be the head of the extraction department, thought I know it may take much time and experience to get there. The only thing is, I don’t know where to start! I feel like where I live, in Miami, Florida, I am more limited than a lot of others out there. But I don’t really know, that’s the thing. I have so many questions that I don’t even know where to start! My number is 305-915-1890, and my email is email@example.com, a text would be preferable as I may not see your email. If anyone wants to chat personally with me shoot me a text, maybe you’re also going through the same thing, I’d love to get other’s thoughts on this as I feel that I’m not alone!
You dont want to own a dispensary. Unless you have a grow and/or processing lab that can supply your dispensary (vertical integration).
Let other people sell the oil and you concentrate on making it.
I have spread myself too thin over the years and now im paying for it. I should have built up my lab 10 years ago. Instead we sold all the closed loop, scaled back the grows and opened a dispensary. Big mistake
Congrats on heading into your junior year. I can see you have big aspirations. You will need it with these markets becoming saturated with both product and those hoping to get in on the gig like yourself.
Two years is a long time if you plan on finishing your degree. The biggest piece of advice I can give in starting a new life is at all costs avoid debt in your endeavors if at all possible. Your student loans if any will be calling you home but mostly the biggest mistake I see younger folk make in trying to break into business is not realizing what a mistake it is to accept debt. Once your efforts become encumbered by debt then you are working really for somebody else. Just a thought but it is the folk who stay lean and mean that have a shot.
If you want to use your degree, perhaps design extraction labs and equipment? There are even jobs as private inspectors that sign off on lab compliance.
If you want to be an “extract artist”, drop out now, buy a pair or Jordan’s and a flat brimmed baseball hat, get yourself some best value vac gear and “get to work”.
Lol that shits on point.
One thing to consider…mixing hobbies and work. Anyone ever ruined a good hobby/passion by doing it for money? I have…
My advice is get experience in a regulated non-Cannabis industry, and then after two years you will be more attractive to a Cannabis company. Companies want corporate experience now, home extraction experience isn’t going to cut it anymore.
Sure I can move to California and - maybe - get hired for some random dispensary that started up 2 months prior and make 16 dollars an hour. I’m trying to get my chemical engineering degree, not just have employers see me with pure home extraction experience like @c03rcion said. I have thought of making extraction equipment for dispensary companies, but that’s just not my cup of tea, or at least it doesn’t seem like it now. I feel like in a couple of years when I have my degree and I am experienced in the field, a market for the equipment will not be as lucrative for someone like me, since big corporations will have likely taken over by then (they are already starting to, from my little bit of research in that area).
Hmm, so your advice would be to head straight into producing the product, and finding suppliers to sell to? How would that work? Especially living in Florida? Also, I saw a post on here that was about a small new start up company that just made about 2.75 liters of distillate, and just have it sitting there, and cannot find anyone to sell to. They actually posted their struggles here and about 4 or 5 people left comments saying they were interested, which I found quite funny actually. But, any more advice as far as not heading into owning the dispensary, but making the product for a couple of them, and selling it to them?
Very true. But, after those two years I would be right back here where I am now, but with a degree. Yeah the degree and experience makes it better, but, my concerns are what exactly I should do and in what direction I should head especially after I graduate.
Get a job working for a company that has GMP operations - pharmaceuticals, food, consumer goods. Do that for a year or so then find a Cannabis outfit that needs someone with that background. May have to move for it sure, but I’m telling you these well funded Cannabis companies arent really looking for black market experience / home blasting experience / home growing anymore. They want people with degrees with corporate experience in a regulated industry. That’s actually more important than knowing how to run a cloosed loop system etc. they want people who understand safety and OHSA requirements, the industry is evolving
Man you have a chemical engineering degree - just get a job commensurate with that degree, do your time for a year or two , then look for cannabis opportunities. Bud tending is a waste of time for someone with a technical degree. Work for coca-cola, Boeing, Pfizer, whatever. Don’t get to caught up in “not my cup of tea” your me young and inexperienced. Pay your dues get experience and find a well funded outfit.
This is not directly on topic…but something I’ve witnessed, at a semi regular frequency.
Engineers get out of college…they have a fancy degree. They have great aspirations. They don’t have the experience to enter their field of choice. They get a generic engineering job…not fulfilling their dreams. After a few years there, with some experience under their belts, they make a move to their industry of choice. You may have a degree, but it would mean nothing to me in my industry if it isn’t backed by some practical knowledge, and or years of experience.
I believe that is what c03rcion is suggesting to you. Get some time in as an engineer. Its honestly not a bad idea to explore engineering opportunities through out the various industries…do not limit yourself.
Exactly. No matter what your degree says, it doesn’t entitle you to anything. You will need to prove yourself in a professional setting. You will also need to acknowledge that you don’t know everything, and that you have much to learn. Be humble.
Okay you mentioned coca cola and such, for example. What other advice would you guys give me as far as what areas I should focus on first, that would later benefit me in a setting where I could work as a head extractor at a company, or even like mentioned earlier, where I could be the one supplying the dispensaries. In other words, what other experience would I need?
If you want to supply dispensaries…drop out of school, grow, and open a dispensary.
If you want to be a chemical engineer, finish school and get a job in your field.
not to be a jerk, but what makes you think you’d start as a head extractor?
I’m advocating you find a job in a non-cannabis industry for a while to learn things which may be absent from the cannabis industry at present. The industry is young and immature, that is why companies, especially those with large budgets and multi-state operations, are looking for people with corporate experience in regulated industries. look, they don’t really care so much about your closed-loop experience, they care more about: A) is this person trainable? B) What kind of scale have the operated at? C) Do they understand safety culture? OSHA? D) Have they worked with regulated products (food, beverage, drugs, etc,) E) Aside from school, what has this person DONE? F) Have they worked on a team of professionals?
Also, many of your cannabis companies are going to be startup mode or face considerable challenges related to banking. You may get paid cash from time to time. You will not have all the resources you would expect. A lot of companies are making due with very little, the industry is very lean. Learn how do operate in that fashion with one of the larger, more established companies in a mainstream industry, Take what you know and experience, and apply it to the cannabis sphere - trust me, you will have a lot of people wanting to talk to you if you can say: chemical engineering at a semi-conductor plant, worked on interdisciplinary team of technologists, engineers, scientists, streamlined a process that saved company 3 million dollars a year etc.
No not saying I would start as a head extractor haha. Just saying I would love to work my way up to something of that sort. And okay, this is great advice, but how would I do that, then? How do I gain the experience, say, while I work for my degree, especially here in Florida. What companies could I work for while working for my degree? Etc.
I would look at getting an internship at some type of manufacturing plant. Pharmaceuticals or food manufacturing would be ideal but any sort of consumer product manufacturing internship will look nice on a resume.
for starters you could try and work in a professors lab: medicine, chemistry, physics. i think you should also just start looking at jobs for when you finish school. internships can get great. looking into biotech. or manufacturing.
Thanks so much guys this is all great advice, anything else you guys think I should know?