GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Hundreds of people lined up Thursday night in Grand Rapids, trying get their foot in the door of the budding marijuana industry.
Organizers of the Cannabis Job Fair say it’s not just a way to get a job, but a career with a lot of potential.
Many like Holland resident Kevin Smith are hoping to get their first foray into the cannabis industry.
"I’m pretty interested to see how the industry will grow and what revenue it will bring to the economy. It's a job, it's something new, it's an industry that’s currently growing and making a lot of money, there’s a lot of news on it right now. I figured it's something I would take an interest on," Smith said.
Event organizers say getting into the industry can lead to a successful career.
"This is an industry where if you have the hunger and the desire and the right attitude to learn, you can go as far as you want," said Matt Hoffmann, the organizer of Thursday’s event.
"We connect job seekers with cannabis employers, that’s what we do," Hoffmann, said. “We have a diverse mix of employers, we got laboratories that would require scientific advanced degrees, we have provisioning centers, we have grow facilities, processors, secure transporters, we have representatives from every area of the industry.”
Hoffmann says it's a once in a lifetime opportunity to get on the ground floor of an entire industry.
"It's exciting because this is an opportunity for people to actually have part of the American dream. There hasn’t been an opportunity like that in our lifetime, and that’s what’s really exciting," Hoffman added.
It is especially exciting in West Michigan.
"When I first moved back from Seattle it was my hope to go to Grand Rapids to work but unfortunately the city wasn’t quite ready," Hastings Resident Simion Guenther said.
Guenther used to work in a pot shop, now he wants to make a shift to marketing for a marijuana company.
"Being a bud tender is something I enjoyed doing, though primarily I’m shooting for the marketing side. I do a lot of social media management, videography, photography, animation that sort of stuff," Guenther, explained.
He like hundreds of others had the chance for a face-to-face with leaders in the industry.
"My hope is that some people land some jobs, and some employers walk out of here and say man, we found a great hire, and job seekers walk out here and say dang that was sweet, I can’t wait for the next one," Hoffman said.
Last week, the City of Grand Rapids issued its first marijuana business license and the local job opportunities will only continue to grow over time.