A cannabis plant greets job seekers as they sign in at CannaSearch, Colorado's first cannabis job fair, on March 13, 2014 in Denver, Colorado. (Doug Pensinger, Getty Images)

Cannabis job fair draws 1,200-plus, 35 percent from out of state

At one point during the first-ever CannaSearch job fair on Thursday, a news station helicopter hovered above O.penVape’s Golden Triangle headquarters as a line of 700 job seekers snaked around the neighboring 1000 block of Delaware Street.

“We counted 1,240 people through the door yesterday,” Todd Mitchem, O.penVape’s chief revenue officer, said Friday. “And after looking at IDs and addresses on resumes we think about 35-40 percent of the attendees were from out of state.”

More on O.penVape: Read our full profile of O.penVape, one of Colorado’s largest cannabis companies

The turnout was bigger than anybody expected, and the crowd was filled with quality applicants, said Mitchem.

“Our guys, they were really surprised at the professionalism and quality of the job seekers,” said Mitchem. “They were coming from all walks of life, all ages. We interviewed a woman who was a nurse here in Denver — she was a nurse at a cancer research center and wanted to work in the lab or anything that was cannabis. We saw lawyers and accountants and people who wanted to be budtenders — this huge variety of people throughout the day. People were dressed well and wanting to be a part of the industry.”

The vendors had roughly 150 jobs available yesterday, but many more will be created soon because of the tremendous growth the industry is seeing, said Mitchem, who is already planning another job fair for this summer — this time in a much larger space than O.penVape’s corporate headquarters.

“When we do it again in July, we’ll have a lot more jobs to offer,” said Mitchem. “The good news: This industry is growing at an astronomical rate. We told people that even if they’re not getting hired today or tomorrow, the industry is growing so fast that they might get hired in the next month or two. We’re immediately going to hire five people out of (the fair). A couple vendors told us they now feel like they have a deep pool from which to choose from. Cannabis moves so fast that you don’t often have time to do a lengthy job search, so it helps that they got to meet a lot of people yesterday.”

The Cannabist is currently accepting marijuana gear for review purposes. Submit your glass, vaporizers, pens and more: cannabistcritics@gmail.com.