Cannabis job fair provides hands-on learning with joint-rolling practice

Tokyo Smoke, which holds one of the four conditional cannabis retail licences in Manitoba, put on the recruitment event.

Tokyo Smoke, 1 of 4 approved cannabis retailers, has a licence to sell up to 2 million grams

People flocked to the Tokyo Smoke job fair in the Exchange District Thursday night. (CBC)

People looking for jobs in a budding industry flocked to the Exchange District Thursday night for a job fair.

Tokyo Smoke, which holds one of the four conditional cannabis retail licences in Manitoba, put on the recruitment event.

The company's community manager, Molly Karp, says they're hiring for a number of positions, with the specific responsibilities still being worked out. Right now, they're looking for people who would be a good fit for the brand.

"Any retail experience, that positive customer experience, retail experience as a whole, just able to interact with people and introduce them to cannabis in a safe and responsible way," she said.

Molly Karp is community manager for Tokyo Smoke. (CBC)

More than 75 people attended the event, which gave attendees a chance to learn about the product and even get a feel for it with a joint rolling station.

"We want to make sure people are comfortable, including our employees. This is just an interesting way to connect people to the experience. We are actually using catnip instead of weed, obviously, because we're not able to do that," Karp said.

People at the Tokyo Smoke job fair practised their joint-rolling technique using catnip. (CBC)

Kris Hurd went to the event, hoping to get a job as an assistant manager in one of Tokyo Smoke's shops.

"Realistically, I just want to be involved in this particular business. Tokyo Smoke does amazing things as far as educating the community, really narrowing down the different means and styles of smoke and building a brand new culture," he said.

Abbie Brooke said she was approached by one of Tokyo Smoke's managers at the place where she works and informed that the company was looking to hire. Like Hurd, she applied for an assistant manager position.

"I just find that it's just wonderful. It's a wonderful way to introduce cannabis to the public and bring more education and more knowledge and remove all the stigma around smoking and the whole stoner mentality that goes along with it," she said.

Tokyo Smoke's parent company, Hiku Brands, has been approved to sell up to 2 million grams of cannabis. There's no word yet on when their stores will open, Karp said.

The retail sale of cannabis becomes legal on Oct. 17.