Stress in the Cannabis Workplace

By Marten Niner C.P.C.

Travel to most any medical marijuana dispensary in the State of Arizona and you will meet people who thrive on being at the forefront of a movement which helps so many who suffer. Yet, you will also witness an industry in chaos, where long hours, frustration, turnover and stress are commonplace. Sure, cannabis workers all have easy access to powerful anxiety medicine, but that just helps with the symptoms. It doesn’t give us any answers to address the causes of all that stress.

Why is this industry so stressful? Veterans of the industry can readily give you a laundry list. Government ignorance and antagonism, misinformation, lack of business expertise, money hungry partners, hidden agendas and lack of competent oversight just to name a few.

While it is easy to become overwhelmed with the negatives, the way forward is to concentrate on positive solutions. Three positive ways to move toward that path are to become active within the industry, educate yourself on the issues and find a coach or mentor.

A great way to make a big difference is to become involved. Many progressive Arizona organizations such as the Marijuana Industry Trade Association (MITA), CannaFriends, Cannakula and Medicated Mavens (your State may vary) need members, volunteers and support. You can make a difference just by attending the meetings, networking with like-minded people, and being involved in the discussion. These groups are trying to help shape a better future for the industry and they need help. To make a difference, we all have to step up and participate; no step is too small. Learning more about the industry can help improve it.

There is so much to know about this industry. Anyone who has lasted in cannabis more than a few months has learned to learn fast. The process of getting the medicine responsibly from seed to patient is incredibly complex. The industry needs competency and expertise in so many areas and will continue to need more. Now is the time to become an expert in a part of it that inspires and excites you. This industry is in its infancy and if you are reading this, you have a head start on 99.997% of the population.

Great, so now you’re participating and learning, but maybe are still having a difficult time finding a direction, passion, or path that truly inspires you. This is where coaching and mentorship can be an extremely effective tool. Inc. Magazine aptly notes that there isn’t a top athlete alive that didn’t need help at some point from a coach or mentor. It is no different in business and life but for some reason many of us have difficulty asking for help. Engaging a certified, experienced coach can make the difference between being lost and finding the right path.

I have heard many times that the marijuana industry and the people in it are a little crazy. Well, the recent Nike ad with Colin Kaepernick sums it up nicely. “It’s only crazy until you do it”.

Marten Niner is a Certified Professional Coach and has worked with cannabis brands such as Huxton, Kiva and ProKure1. For more information, please visit

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