While many states have legalized marijuana recreationally, medically, or both, finding work within this industry is still a bit more complicated than finding typical HVAC jobs. The majority of contractors are hired onto projects because they are trusted by the grow house owner, marijuana farmer, or dispensary owner. Marijuana industry jobs usually come to the contractors through word-of-mouth.
“Customers come to me — I don’t go and search them out,” said Ken Osborne, president, Dick’s Heating & Air Conditioning, East Wenatchee, Washington. “I was first approached by a former neighbor, who was then a vegetable grower, who wanted to embark on a marijuana outdoor grow operation. He trusted me because he knew me, and that is why he chose me to do the project. There are still a lot of shady people out there trying to get involved in the industry. I know personally, because I’ve been burned before working with the type, so it helps to know somebody; he had a lot of trust in me.”
For Bill Kean, director of field operations, Dynamic Air Services, making new contacts with people in the industry has been most helpful in gaining new marijuana job opportunities.
“The very large majority of our business comes from networking with people, whether it’s our modular room builders, general contractors, or be it referrals from previous clients,” said Kean. “We also have pages on our website with Search Engine Optimization (SEO) that helps generate leads. It’s inherently difficult to find jobs in this market, due to the secrecy surrounding the industry as a whole still. For the most part, we receive the phone call from a referral or someone we work with. We don’t go out and seek the customer.”
Bryson Guyer, president, E3 Service Group, said that an overwhelming amount of his jobs have come from word-of-mouth, and that contractors rely on it to get their name entered into the inner circle of the industry.
“All of our work has been 100 percent word-of-mouth,” he said. “What we’ve found is that once you kind of get into this industry, your name gets passed around a lot inside of the industry. It’s a really small circle where guys really rely on and trust each other. So, knock on wood, we haven’t had to look for work in the past six years.”
Publication date: 4/23/2018