As the country faces down economic challenges caused by the COVID Pandemic and the first domestically produced cannabis is primed to enter German pharmacies this fall, the domestic Deutsch cannabis industry is hiring.
German cannabis companies are on a bit of a hiring spree right now. It is impossible to miss (see the CannaListEU jobs list). That it was inevitable anyway is part of the story given the continued expansions of the market here as well as more looming international events (the WHO reclassification supposedly is on the docket for December).
However, it is also evident that many of these firms are also undoubtedly benefitting from the governmental stimulus. That is the subtext, too obviously in the mix.
Of course, this is nothing controversial in Germany. The firms that are most obviously in line to receive such support are licensed pharmaceutical operators with federally issued approvals.
This support also comes in a variety of forms. Most easy to see are the amount of full time and highly skilled jobs beginning to show up on a European map that is still dominated by Deutschland. Don’t expect that to last for long. The British are clearly coming, and as Germany finally lowers the barriers to who can import here, the rest of Europe, if not the world, is (finally) too.
However, beyond the pharmacists, doctors, sales agents, specialists of every kind, including ex-im and increasingly social media related jobs, this too is good news for what follows.
Brief Overview of Current Economic & Regulatory Conditions
Germany is right now on a cusp that is sort of translatable to other jurisdictions. The drug is legal here if prescribed by a doctor. Certainly, if you are on private health insurance, the most basic fight for “reform” is also pretty much over. Go to a pain specialist in any Schmerzzentrum (pain clinic) in Germany with private health insurance coverage these days and provide convincing medical evidence, and a prescription is relatively easily issued. Particularly, if referred by a GP who is sympathetic, that can still be hard. Again, it is becoming increasingly easier for patients in big cities in the country, at least, to obtain a prescription fairly easily now.
That said, there is the expense of the drug, which is something that patients in this category usually end up bearing the cost of (starting with the doctor prescribing visit in the first place). For this reason, beyond what the insurance companies want to do, the industry has suddenly been incentivized to serve a customer base that wants to have an alternative to the black market. Still, it is not willing to pay two to three times black market prices to do so.
In a country with a heavily subsidized healthcare system, to begin with, this should, ostensibly, be manna to the ears also of any foreign producer willing to look at real-world market economics and reality rather than focusing on the higher pricing (read highway robbery, insurance, and patient-gouging strategies) that dominated the early market here.
Regardless of the particulars of that discussion, however, the current economic environment is highly conducive to hiring right now, and companies are doing so.
That is good news in a professional world dominated by economic pain caused not only by “COVID” but exacerbated by the amount of broader structural change now fast-forwarded by the same, especially when it comes to employment.
The Great Cannabis Normalization is Underway in Germany
When people get up and go to work every day, even if it is these days punctuated more by casual wear from home and online meetings, the things that they do become normalized. The line “I work in the cannabis industry” is a great one to drop. That is not likely to change for a while. According to one industry ‘zine in the United States, there are likely to be more cannabis than computer programming jobs in the country by the end of the year. That statistic is unlikely to show up in Germany. The country is actively looking to stimulate certain parts of the economy right now that is almost entirely missing in the United States and Britain (for example).
That said, there are also increasing numbers of computer jobs IN the industry right now as companies begin to build digital presences built for the next obvious frontier (roughly bunched into a basket that is part reform, part education, part advocacy, part tech, and part pure self-promotion). Whatever it ends up being, it is also apparent that cannabis companies are relying on digital strategies like never before to grow markets. Not that this is a new trend in the industry. Just don’t expect it to dissipate any time soon. It just has gotten more global.
However, this also does something else. It turns the industry domestically from an outlier into a more mainstream affair. One which also needs a whole realm of people who might also add the title “lawyer” to the conversation. Or “doctor.” Indeed the entire chain requires personnel who understand the industry and respect the plant.
There are several other factors at play here that make this interesting. The first is that the German industry is trying to establish its identity without internationalizing too much. It often means, however, that the industry is, by definition, very bilingual. What that means to the average adventurer from another country seeking a job here is that you have to know how to speak German, as much as the industry here is also bilingual (English-German). It is an inevitability in a place where the vast majority of the product comes from outside the country (and is expected to for a long time).
Obtaining a job without being here can be challenging (but not impossible). There are also several ways to citizenship via this route for those looking for more permanent options right now. This includes people with German (and Jewish) ancestors. But it also consists of those who meet the qualifications of Germany’s new immigration reforms for highly skilled workers – the so-called Skilled Immigration Act or Fahrkraftzuwanderngesetz – which also took effect earlier this year.
While there is a decided distaste still in the Bundestag (German parliament) for mentioning cannabis publicly as a job creator, it is being discussed as such just about everywhere right now. In Germany, however, this idea may get another look by legislators, and soon. And for reasons beyond cannabis reform specifically. There appear to be tens of thousands of Germans. They think it is an excellent idea to congregate in large numbers right now to espouse their opposition of lockdown and safety if not basic public hygiene and safety measures, Bill Gates, 5G, and vaccines generally in Berlin of late. The German umbrella term for the same is covidiots. Regardless, the German government is not unconcerned with such developments. Right-wing hatred, populism, and general discontent breeds when economic conditions are more complicated. And for all the relative lack of suffering here compared with say, the U.S. or U.K, not to mention other parts of Europe, there is still pandemic related, economic pain here that, remove the association with COVID, was lurking right under the surface before the pandemic hit.
Kurzarbeit – the German term for the state-sponsored shortened working week in times of economic crisis so that people do not lose their jobs in large numbers – still means you make less.
In German sensibilities, if the cannabis industry can help ease some of that pain, why not?
A COVID-Relief Funded Cannabis Jobs Market
For those with the right skills right now, the industry in Germany is opening like few other places in the world. Far from just in Berlin. Indeed Cologne and Munich are also beginning to have an industry presence as does Frankfurt plus other places you might have to find if not research online. And that takes people to do the work, and even better creates lots of opportunities for finding a full-time, well-paid job, with full German benefits, starting with healthcare. Indeed for those with the means and the positioning right now, there has never been a better time to be in the industry or even considering starting a company. As the industry has been normalized over the last few years, it now fits into more normal buckets anyway.
For most people looking for work, however, particularly in a foreign country, starting one’s own business, particularly in Germany, is a daunting, paper-strewn proposition on top of the regular piles of strange not to mention exhaustive administrative processing one has to deal with anyway. The good news about the growth of the industry here is that these days, you don’t have to. Even freelance jobs for established companies are beginning to show up in the mix.
Green Recovery Can Be Seeded In The Industry Itself
Certainly, German cannabis firms are in the front seat of possibilities when it comes to looking for government funding over the next (at least) half-decade. It is not an “easy” game to play. However, again, for most people, what this means is that there will be a lot more jobs in the vertical, to begin with.
That in and itself carries its logic, beyond any lobbying in power centers, no matter where they are. This discussion has already moved here beyond the immediate conversation, if not decision making about the legitimacy of the drug and into the most important marketplace of all right now. The jobs market.
And that is not only “green redevelopment” but a post COVID world that is possible to feel positive about.