By Ken Stone
Talk about getting in the weeds. An online marijuana mall is seeking a “420 product tester” — someone who will smoke and eat cannabis for $50,000 a year.
BudTrader.com, which calls itself the world’s largest online legal cannabis classified ad marketplace, announced the opening Thursday on social media.
On Monday, company CEO Brad McLaughlin said he’d received 105 applications so far, adding: “We didn’t expect to get so many. I had to approve some overtime just to review all the applicants we’ve already received.”Earlier, he said his Encinitas-based business based had seen applications “mostly from California but some from Colorado also.”
McLaughlin recently claimed a milestone — 1 million registered users on the 2-year-old site — with a “star-studded VIP guest list” celebrating at a private home in Pacific Palisades.
The hire would test a wide variety of cannabis, CBD and hemp-related products as well as new equipment, vapes and smoking devices, said McLaughlin, who lives in Los Angeles County.
“The applicant must be proficient in writing and be able to post their reviews online as well as be comfortable on camera for ‘unboxing videos,’ demo videos, Facebook Live videos, Instagram Live videos as well as YouTube and Snapchat videos,” he said.
He cautioned that the role is going to be a lot of work and “it’s a real job.”
“If you’re looking to just get paid to smoke weed and that’s it, this isn’t the job for you,” said his Facebook post.
McLaughlin also responded to questions via email.
MYNEWSLA.COM: Have you explored the legal exposure of providing cannabis products to an employee? Would candidates have to live in only certain states? (Also, to be certain: The tester would be an employee, not a contractor?)
BRAD McLAUGHLIN: We have discussed with our legal counsel the potential legal ramifications of this position. The candidate would have to live in a state that has some form of legal cannabis. Currently we’ve only posted the job opening in CA, CO, WA and NV.
We haven’t decided if the candidate will be an employee or independent contractor; we plan on deciding on that once we choose a candidate. Obviously if the candidate were to be an independent contractor, they would have to comply with state and federal regulations governing that type of contractor work.
In addition, cannabis flower is just one of the many products that the “green rush” or legal weed offers. There are hundreds of new products we see on the site and hear about every day.
CBD products, hemp products, food, topical creams, CBD water etc. There are also a number of new products that aren’t consumables. Light/magnifiers to inspect flower, vape pens designed to control dosage, hydroponic equipment, testing equipment.
The applicant would have to review a wide variety of new products that are out or coming soon. We’re less interested in the product tester “getting high” and more interested in providing reliable information and feedback on new products.
Some new cannabis-related products are great and some are crap and some are expensive crap. We want to give the consumer and the cannabis community as much info as possible via our platform.
When do you expect the hire to be on the job?
We just began the search. We will begin reviewing applications/resumes immediately. I hope to have identified a candidate in the next few weeks.
Sometimes your news releases are stunts (such as a TV commercial that never aired). What can you say to assure readers this job is for real?
This job is definitely for real and it’s an important job. On the surface, it looks like you get paid to sit around and smoke, but that’s not the case and that’s not what we’re looking for in an applicant.
There are a million people on Facebook Live who smoke and review flower. This will be different. We want the applicant to provide honest, reliable, intelligent, knowledgeable and entertaining reviews of all the newest cannabis products so the cannabis community can make educated, fact-based buying decisions with their hard earned money.
Will this employee have health insurance — in case of ingesting bad weed?
If the applicant is an employee, they will be provided with health insurance and every effort will be made that the applicant can complete his job assignment as safely as possible. This is why responsibility will be a major deciding factor in the appplicant we choose. Safety first is the main message here and responsible cannabis consumption.
Thousands of varieties of smokable and edible cannabis exist. How will you decide what to test? Apparently lots of people are reviewing strains, including cannabisreports.org, thecannabist.co, leafly.com and thecannifornian.com.
It is tough to decide where to begin. There are so many new cannabis related products coming out. I imagine the most interesting and unique products will get reviewed first.
A lot of the success of the endeavor will ride on the candidate chosen. People will need to trust and like the candidate and the candidate will need to earn that trust, but we’re also trying to come up with new entertaining and educational ways to deliver these product reviews.
Both are equally important for this project to become a success.
Updated at 2:35 p.m. March 19, 2018
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