I've been covering green jobs for Mother Nature Network for years. From solar panel manufacturers to wind turbine technicians, I've covered nearly every green job out there. But today I'm writing about a different type of a green job, a more leafy type of green that has a bevy of nicknames including Mary Jane, weed, reefer and pot. That’s right, today I’m talking about marijuana.  

The state of Washington is searching for several marijuana consultants, and if that isn't a real "green" job, then I don’t know what is. In November, Washington residents approved Initiative 502, which legalized the recreational use of marijuana. Citizens over the age of 21 can possess up to an ounce of marijuana without facing local or state criminal charges. Marijuana possession is still a federal crime, but that’s a different topic for a different day.

Now that recreational marijuana use is legal in the state, Washington is searching for several marijuana consultants to help implement a statewide program that will govern growers, retail outlets, the marijuana taxation process and more.  

What does a state government do when it wants to hire new employees? They issue an official request for proposals (RFP) and this holds true even when the state is searching for marijuana consultants. Officially, the RFP is for Initiative 502 Consulting Services (PDF).

So, what does it take to be a marijuana consultant? According to the RFP, the state is looking for contractors in the following categories:

Product industry and knowledge – this includes knowledge of how marijuana is infused into food and beverage products, growing and cultivation, and how to destroy recalled marijuana products; minimum of three years of cannabis consulting experience required

Product quality standards and testing – marijuana testing infrastructure knowledge required as well as a bachelor’s degree in chemistry, biology or agriculture or five years of cannabis testing experience required

Product usage and consumption validation – this contractor will need to estimate consumption and usage statistics by region; bachelor’s degree in statistical research or equivalent work experience required

Product regulation – strong understanding of local, state and federal regulations required; minimum qualifications include five years of work experience and a law degree (Juris Doctor) is preferred

As you can see by the requirements, these are not "green" collar jobs. Evidently marijuana consulting is serious business and college degrees are the norm. I don’t know about you, but I don't recall a Mary Jane elective when I was in college; sure some students participated in related extra-curricular activities, but I'm not sure those would be considered resume worthy.

All joking aside, recreational marijuana use is legal in the state of Washington and the government has a year to implement an Initiative 502 management program. If you're qualified for the position and want to apply then time is of the essence. The proposal deadline is Feb. 15 at 2 p.m. (PST).

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