WESTPORT — A local cannabis cultivator is on a hiring spree as it expands its cultivating capacity and as the industry as a whole continues to grow.
Cresco Labs, a national cannabis cultivator with a facility in Fall River, held a job fair on Friday at White’s of Westport. The company recently expanded to occupy the third and fourth floor of the historic mill building that it shares with cannabis retailer Sunnyside, a move that tripled their cultivation capacity.
They’re looking to move from 135 employees at its Fall River location to about 155, with more hiring possible soon, said Katie Bell, the company’s Vice President of Talent and Acquisition. Cresco also has locations in Leicester, Uxbridge, Framingham and Worces
Bell said finding employees for a cannabis facility is a unique task. People who’ve worked in the food and beverage industry, pharmaceuticals or other agricultural fields might have some relevant skills, but nothing is exactly like cultivating and selling cannabis.
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“At the end of the day, cannabis is really its own industry alone,” she said.
Still, they had no shortage of applicants on Friday. Bell said around 40 people had already come through by the midway point of the job fair.
Mostly, they’re looking for people who are enthusiastic about the plant and want to help grow the industry, Bell said.
“We definitely want people who are an advocate for cannabis,” she said. “Part of our business is to normalize and professionalize cannabis.”
Paul Samek, the facility director for the Fall River grower, said on Friday they were mostly looking to hire back-end workers who would do jobs like packaging, processing, crafting edibles and other products, logistics and fulfillment.
Many of the people interested, Samek said, bring a personal enthusiasm to their role. Many of them take jobs they might be overqualified for simply because they want to work in the industry, he said.
Jorge Valentim, a Fall River resident, was one such applicant. As he waited for an interview, he said he needed a job, but also had personal experience with consuming and cultivating cannabis.
“What I want to do is just get into the company,” he said. “It’s a new industry and I want to try it out.”
Audrey Cooney can be reached at email@example.com. Support local journalism by purchasing a digital or print subscription to The Herald News today.