First-Ever Marijuana Job Fair May Draw 1,000

PHOTO:A customer shops for recreational marijuana inside the Evergreen Apothecary in Denver, Colorado in this Jan. 9, 2014, file photo.

A groundbreaking job fair in Colorado on Thursday is expected to attract at least 15 potential employers catering to the state's burgeoning pot business.

Smoking marijuana is not a prerequisite to getting hired, organizers said, but companies participating in first-ever "CannaSearch" job fair view it as a plus.

The fair's sponsor is O.PenVAPE, a manufacturer of cannabis-vaporizing pens. The event will be held at the company's headquarters in Denver. No registration is required, the sponsor said. It's a smoke-free event, and attendees must be 21 or older.

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"We're planning velvet ropes in front and food for folks," Todd Mitchen, spokesman and chief revenue officer for O.PenVAPE, told the Denver Business Journal. "It should be quite an event." He anticipates attendance could be as high as 1,000 job seekers. "The cannabis industry really is a huge job creating industry. It's expanding. We're putting people to work."

At least 15 employers will be represented, according to the Journal, including a medical marijuana dispensary, a pot-related travel company, makers of oils, and a pot-storage company. Available positions will include bookkeepers, copywriters, graphic designers, tour guides, customer service reps, Web developers and bud-trimmers and bud-tenders.

An institution of higher learning -- the Cannabis Hemp Academy -- will also be attending, organizers said. Laura Kriho, director of the academy, said it provides training for a variety of specialties within the rapidly-expanding marijuana and hemp industry. The training includes, according to its course listings, "Cannabis Therapy Fundamentals," "Cannabis Patient Care" and "Introduction to Cannabis Law."

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"We're going there to promote the school," Kriho said of the fair. She told ABC News that she has several dozen students enrolled at present. The school's cannabis certification program is being promoted as a credential that gives job seekers a leg up.

"The economy's still pretty bad," she said. "Everybody's looking for a job. This is one of the few fields that's growing."

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