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  • Staying ahead of new laws and regulations is one of the main challenges for cannabis businesses.
  • Offering compelling benefits and regular training opportunities improves retention and engagement.
  • At Greenleaf HR we provide tailored HR solutions for your cannabis business. Contact us to get started!

The cannabis industry is blooming, and it’s having a profound impact on the job market. According to the 2022 Leafly Jobs Report, America’s legal cannabis businesses supported 428,059 full-time equivalent jobs — a 30% increase from the previous year. In this context, HR best practices are essential to meet employees’ expectations and help companies thrive.

Businesses in the cannabis sector face unique challenges regarding HR, from complex and rapidly changing regulations to high employee turnover rates and banking bans. How can your HR team address these issues and prepare for the challenges ahead?

These 7 HR best practices serve as a compass to help you navigate this vibrant sector this year.

Let’s get started!

7 HR Best Practices for Companies in the Cannabis Industry

1- Create an Effective Recruiting Process for Cannabis Roles

As the cannabis industry keeps experiencing exponential growth in the US, it becomes important to improve your recruiting and hiring practices to attract the best talent and ensure long-term success.

The US cannabis market is projected to reach USD 50.91 Billion by 2032
— The Brainy Insights

Growing a team of fresh, talented employees at such a rapid pace can be a challenging (but rewarding) experience.

Here are a few tips to improve your recruiting process:

  • Set realistic expectations and provide clear job requirements. Cannabis job descriptions should clearly define the role, its responsibilities, and the main skills and qualities that your potential employee should have. When you highlight your company values, mission, and culture you are more likely to attract candidates with a similar mindset.
  • Source talent through multiple channels. Casting a wide net is essential to attract qualified candidates. Rely on multiple channels, such as cannabis job boards, social media, networking events related to the cannabis industry, and cannabis associations to ensure a broader and more diverse pool of talent.

2- Stay Updated on Changing Regulations to Maintain Cannabis Compliance

Compliance is a top concern for any business, but especially in the cannabis industry, one of the most heavily regulated sectors. Failing to comply with state and local laws can result in fines, penalties, and even the revocation of your business license.

With legal requirements constantly evolving, HR professionals must stay informed. Proactively staying on top of regulatory changes helps you ensure that your organization not only complies with current laws but also anticipates and adapts to future developments.

Here’s what you can do to ensure cannabis compliance:

  • Leverage cannabis compliance software. Make sure you check all the boxes with a platform that helps you monitor and manage regulatory requirements, from tracking licensing deadlines to automating documentation processes. These tools often offer real-time updates, so you can stay ahead of any legislative changes, minimizing the risk of compliance-related issues.
  • Have an effective inventory management system in place. Make sure to accurately track and report inventory to avoid potential legal issues and guarantee product safety. Seed-to-sale tracking software can help your business stay compliant with state regulations.
  • Implement compliance training sessions for employees. Share updated regulatory information among the team to ensure everyone is well-informed and aligned with the latest compliance standards.

3- Enhance the Onboarding Experience to Increase Employee Retention 

The cannabis industry —especially in retail shops— has an employee turnover rate of 40 to 60% in the first two months. This highlights the need for more effective onboarding programs.

“Effective onboarding is a journey, not an event.”
— Sharlyn Lauby, HR Consultant and Author

Onboarding sets the stage for employee success and has a positive impact on long-term retention and engagement. In the cannabis industry, where compliance and industry-specific knowledge are crucial, having a well-crafted onboarding becomes even more relevant.

Consider this when designing your onboarding program:

  • Design comprehensive onboarding programs that not only cover general workplace procedures but also delve into the unique nuances of the cannabis sector, providing employees with a solid foundation.
  • Establish mentorship programs to pair new hires with experienced team members. When new employees have a coworker to rely on, it’s easier for them to integrate into your company culture and speed up their learning curve.
  • Leverage technology to offer a smooth, dynamic experience. Use a self-guided platform to provide information to your new hires and ensure that all compliance-related paperwork is efficiently managed and tracked. Need help? Check out our onboarding services to see how we can help you streamline the process.

4- Invest in Growth and Skill Development for Cannabis Employees

In such a rapidly evolving industry, ongoing training is vital to keeping employees up to date on compliance, safety protocols, and emerging industry trends.

Having a knowledgeable skilled workforce can boost your sales and help you avoid hefty fines by staying compliant. Here are some HR best practices for employee training:

  • Implement regular training sessions that cover the latest regulatory updates, ensuring that the workforce remains compliant with ever-changing legal requirements.
  • Focus on specialized training to enhance employees’ understanding of the unique challenges and opportunities within the cannabis sector. This may include sessions on product knowledge, customer service, and the ins and outs of cannabis cultivation and processing.

5- Roll Out Employee Engagement Initiatives

Taking care of your employees and making them feel valued and heard can have enormous benefits for your cannabis business. Engagement initiatives not only increase employee motivation and satisfaction but also create a positive workplace culture.

“Take time to appreciate employees and they will reciprocate in a thousand ways.”
— Bob Nelson, Author of “1001 Ways to Energize Employees”

With such high turnover rates, keeping employees in the cannabis industry engaged seems like a true challenge. Here’s how to improve employee engagement this year:

  • Organize regular team-building activities. Promote activities that encourage collaboration and camaraderie among employees. This could include events, outings, or even virtual activities to accommodate different work settings.
  • Implement an employee recognition program to acknowledge and reward outstanding performance. Recognizing employees for their contributions cultivates a sense of appreciation and motivates the team to excel.
  • Understand why employees leave with exit interviews. Interviewing people who have decided to leave your cannabis business can provide insight into your work environment and identify opportunities to improve.

6- Design a Robust Benefits Package for your Cannabis Employees

In the competitive landscape of the cannabis industry, a thoughtfully crafted benefits package is not merely a perk but a strategic differentiator for attracting and retaining top talent.

Due to the rising costs of healthcare and living, more employees prioritize a strong benefits package when evaluating a job offer. According to SHRM, employees ranked healthcare as the #1 benefit that a company can offer them.

Are you rethinking your benefits package this year? Keep this in mind:

  • Understand your employees ‘must haves.’ This can help you get a sense of their needs and expectations, and tailor benefits for different locations and demographics.
  • Low budget? Explore other benefits that might be appealing to your employees. Small dispensaries don’t often have the resources to afford top-notch benefits. If that’s your case, you may consider offering other perks such as transportation reimbursements, off-site daycare, or a more flexible work schedule.

7- Partner with a Cannabis PEO to Handle your Business’ HR Needs

Cannabis businesses need to navigate complex regulations while managing a growing workforce in a competitive market. On top of this, many banks still refuse to operate with cannabis firms, adding an additional layer of complexity to payroll — although this might be about to change soon. For small companies with little to no HR infrastructure, this is a lot to handle.

By partnering with a Professional Employer Organization (PEO), companies can delegate complex day-to-day HR functions, including payroll, compliance, and benefits administration. That way, they can focus on their core operations while ensuring a healthy workforce and staying compliant.

Here’s what to consider when choosing a PEO for your cannabis business:

  • Cannabis industry expertise. A cannabis PEO provides you with a deep understanding of the cannabis industry’s unique dynamics, including compliance requirements, regulatory changes, and the specific challenges associated with HR in this sector. A PEO with industry expertise is better equipped to provide tailored solutions that align with the nuances of cannabis business operations.
  • Comprehensive service offerings. Evaluate the range of HR services offered by the specialized PEO. Beyond basic payroll and benefits administration, look for a PEO that can address specific needs of the cannabis industry, such as compliance management, safety training, and employee wellness programs.
  • Track record and reputation. Do your research. Consider client testimonials, case studies, and the PEO’s overall reputation for reliability and responsiveness. Partnering with a PEO that has a proven history of success in serving cannabis businesses instills confidence that your HR needs will be managed effectively and in accordance with industry best practices.

HR Best Practices: Final Thoughts

As one of the fastest-growing industries in the US, the cannabis sector faces numerous HR challenges — as well as new opportunities for growth and development. HR best practices are the guidelines to help you manage a productive, engaged workforce, and shape your HR strategy for this upcoming year.

At Greenleaf HR, we provide top tier HR solutions for businesses in the cannabis industry. From handling payroll to supplying employee benefits, we simplify your HR operations and help you reach your goals.

Contact us to find out how we can help you grow by implementing HR best practices tailored to your cannabis business needs.

Loss control is a pivotal aspect of risk management for business owners, irrespective of the size or industry of the company. It involves strategies, practices, and measures designed to mitigate and prevent losses, which could be financial, operational, or reputational. In this blog, we’ll delve into the reasons why loss control is of paramount importance for business owners.

Financial Stability: Maintaining financial stability is a cornerstone of business success. Loss control measures are vital to safeguarding a company’s financial health. Whether it’s minimizing the impact of a cyberattack, preventing accidents in the workplace, or reducing inventory shrinkage, these measures help preserve your bottom line.

Operational Efficiency: Efficient operations are the lifeblood of a successful business. Loss control initiatives streamline processes, reduce waste, and enhance productivity. This not only helps maximize profitability but also ensures that resources are utilized optimally.

Insurance Costs: Insurance is a critical component of risk management for businesses. Effective loss control can lead to lower insurance premiums. Insurers favor businesses that take proactive steps to mitigate risks, which translates to cost savings over time.

Safeguarding Reputation: In the age of the internet and social media, a damaged reputation can be devastating for a business. Implementing loss control strategies demonstrates your commitment to safety, quality, and responsibility, which can help safeguard your reputation. This is particularly crucial when you consider how quickly negative news can spread.

Legal Compliance: Many industries are subject to a slew of regulations and compliance standards. Loss control helps ensure your business meets these requirements. Compliance not only prevents legal issues and penalties but also underscores your dedication to maintaining the highest ethical standards.

Business Continuity: Loss control also contributes to business continuity. A well-structured loss control plan can help your business weather unexpected challenges, such as natural disasters, economic downturns, or cybersecurity threats. This, in turn, ensures the continued operation of your business and prevents costly disruptions.

Employee Safety: Creating a safe work environment is both a moral and legal obligation. Prioritizing employee safety not only reduces the risk of workplace accidents but also contributes to employee morale and retention. A safe workplace is essential for attracting and retaining top talent.

Quality Assurance: Loss control measures can significantly enhance the quality of your products or services. By proactively identifying and addressing potential issues, you can ensure consistency and quality, which is essential for customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Supply Chain Resilience: A resilient supply chain is essential for the smooth functioning of your business. Loss control measures can help identify vulnerabilities in your supply chain and mitigate risks. This ensures that you can continue to meet customer demand even when faced with disruptions.

Competitive Advantage: By implementing effective loss control measures, your business can gain a competitive edge. You demonstrate to customers, partners, and investors that you are committed to excellence, which can set you apart in a crowded market.

Loss control is not just another checkbox on the list of business management practices; it is a fundamental necessity for any business owner. Whether your goal is financial stability, operational efficiency, or safeguarding your reputation, loss control initiatives play a crucial role in achieving these objectives. Moreover, they help your business adapt and thrive in an ever-changing and unpredictable business landscape, ensuring long-term success and growth.

In today’s complex and highly regulated business environment, adherence to labor laws is not merely a matter of ethical responsibility but a legal imperative. Non-compliance with labor laws can lead to a multitude of consequences that can be detrimental to both employers and employees. In this blog, we will explore the far-reaching and often hidden perils associated with failing to comply with labor laws.

1. Legal Consequences:

The most immediate and apparent consequence of non-compliance with labor laws is the legal ramifications. Labor laws exist to protect the rights of workers and ensure fair and equitable treatment in the workplace. Failing to uphold these laws can result in costly legal disputes, fines, and penalties. Employers can face legal action from current or former employees, government agencies, or both. The financial burden of legal proceedings and potential penalties can be overwhelming for businesses, particularly small and medium-sized enterprises.

2. Damage to Reputation:

A tarnished reputation is often an indirect but significant consequence of labor law non-compliance. In today’s digital age, news of labor violations can quickly spread through social media and online platforms. A negative reputation can deter potential employees and customers. It can also strain relationships with suppliers, partners, and investors. Rebuilding trust and reputation can be a lengthy and challenging process.

3. Employee Morale and Turnover:

Non-compliance with labor laws can lead to decreased employee morale and increased turnover rates. When employees feel their rights are not being respected, they become disheartened and disengaged. High turnover rates are not only costly in terms of recruitment and training but can also result in a loss of institutional knowledge and decreased productivity.

4. Legal Liability for Leadership:

Leaders and decision-makers within an organization can be held personally liable for labor law violations. This personal liability can include fines and even imprisonment in cases of severe violations. Business leaders must understand that they share the responsibility for ensuring labor law compliance, and they can be held individually accountable for any breaches.

5. Disruption of Operations:

Legal actions and investigations stemming from labor law violations can disrupt business operations. The time, resources, and attention that must be devoted to legal matters can divert focus from core business activities. It can be a drain on productivity and profitability.

6. Loss of Government Contracts and Benefits:

For companies that rely on government contracts, subsidies, or licenses, labor law violations can lead to disqualification or the revocation of these benefits. This loss can have severe financial and operational consequences, affecting the viability of the business.

7. Civil Lawsuits:

Non-compliance with labor laws opens the door to civil lawsuits from employees, competitors, or other parties. These lawsuits can be expensive, time-consuming, and damaging to an organization’s financial stability and reputation. The costs of defending against and settling such lawsuits can be a heavy burden for businesses.

The consequences of labor law violations extend beyond legal penalties; they encompass damaged reputations, disgruntled employees, and disrupted operations. Compliance with labor laws is not just about avoiding trouble with the law; it is about fostering a culture of fairness, respect, and ethical behavior within the workplace. Businesses should prioritize comprehensive training, regular compliance audits, and a commitment to upholding labor laws as a proactive approach to mitigating these far-reaching consequences. Failure to do so can lead to serious and long-lasting negative impacts on both employees and employers alike.