The first time Michael Ray hosted a cannabis industry job fair, roughly five employers and 150 job seekers showed up. It was the summer of 2014, and the executive director of Bloom Farms – a medical cannabis company based in San Francisco – organized the event, in part, to recruit a “talented, passionate team” for his own purposes.

It immediately became clear that this would not be a one-time thing.

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Michael Ray, Executive Director of Bloom Farms

“It was a huge success. Each one of the employers hired multiple people and… what happened next was ten people emailed me and asked when we were going to do this again,” Ray told Civilized.

“It started as a tool for myself and Bloom Farms to recruit top talent… and it’s evolved into a really valuable tool for dozens and dozens of companies [and job seekers].”

On Saturday, Ray will welcome 22 employers and more than 1,000 job seekers to the New West Summit’s San Francisco Bay Area Cannabis Career & Job Fair. And there will be a lot more than just trimmer positions on offer, assures Ray.

“Certainly there are farmers in need of people to pull weeds and trim plants, but this industry is much, much more in-depth than just that,” said Ray.

“You look at some of our past events and it’s everything from graphic designers to bookkeepers, chemists, brand ambassadors, retail bud-tenders… all the way up to dispensary management.”

No matter your interest, if you’re a “talented, committed, responsible and quality candidate, you can find your place in the Bloom Farms cannabis job fair,” added Ray.

Going forward, it’s the kind of event Ray imagines will become more and more prevalent and important as the cannabis industry continues to blossom – particularly with California voting on recreational use this November.

“There have never been more available jobs within the cannabis industry than there are right now,” said Ray, who anticipates “a million jobs created over the next 10 years in California.”

“This is just the beginning. It’s all happening right now… Adult use is on the ballot here in California and we expect it to pass. We expect this industry to really grow here, and to provide legitimate jobs for well-paying companies.”

The San Francisco Bay Area Cannabis Career & Job Fair will run from noon to 4 p.m. at the Hyatt Regency San Francisco. While the event is free for job seekers, those interested in getting a little extra one-on-one time with prospective employers can come in at 11 a.m. for a $10 fee. Pre-registration for the event must be done online at sfcannabisjobsfair.com, where a complete list of employers and open positions is also available.

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The job fair is being put on as part of this weekend’s New West Summit, a San Francisco cannabis conference focused on the “game-changing, disruptive developments in technology, investment and media within the cannabis space.”

The New West Summit will take place at San Francisco’s Hyatt Regency Oct. 14 and 15. Civilized is a Gold Sponsor of the event. You can register online until Oct. 15.

Banner image: Evan Thompson (Bloom Farms)