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Peoria, Ill. (WEEK) – Local leaders hosted Peoria’s first cannabis career fair Tuesday night at the Carver Community Center as businesses prepare for the legalization of recreational marijuana on January 1.

Organizers said it will be a new experience for everyone and there is a lot of potential for job growth over the next few months.

Peoria City Councilwoman Denise Moore says recreational marijuana will help create new opportunities for jobs and bring more money to local economies. Dispensaries like nuMed in East Peoria are excited to welcome new people to their team.

“Up front we have front desk positions that we are hiring for. We are also hiring patient specialists and inventory specialists that we’re hiring for,” said nuMed Agent in Charge Lara Seiler. “Basically everyone will do a little bit of everything. We try to rotate everybody around.”

People looking to work in the industry don’t necessarily need a medical degree or previous experience because the dispensaries will train anyone willing to learn.

Moore says people will be getting hired in December and January, but licenses for dispensaries likely won’t be awarded until May.

“They will get hired and be working in some capacity, doing something but not with cannabis necessarily until May or June,” Moore said.

Moore says there is a large education component with recreational marijuana that the city will try to help residents with in late December and early January. People already working in the industry agree that everyone can learn more to avoid the misconceptions.

“It’s a safer option and everybody likes to have recreational fun now and then,” said nuMed Agent Stacey Ohmes. “This is the safest way, the best way honestly.”

The state law was also crafted to help individuals get minor drug offenses scrubbed from their record. That could enable those with minor offenses to pursue jobs in this growing cannabis industry.

“It is our society that was negatively impacted. It’s just the black and brown were more negatively impacted in a greater way,” Moore said.

 

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