The Evolution of HR in The Cannabis Space

The Evolution of HR in The Cannabis Space

Cannabis has become a multi-billion-dollar business. As legalization spreads, one can already envision future global corporations seizing on the many opportunities that lay ahead. To face these challenges, the way the budding industry deals with human resources has had to evolve, and it will continue to do so.

Not many years ago, cannabis was associated with dodgy characters and nondescript facilities. Now, some of the top players in tobacco, food, and alcohol are getting in on the action. Medicinal cannabis is widely accepted by the scientific community, and the people who were originally producing the drug have had to clean up their act.

The organizational chart of a thriving cannabis business today isn’t much different from what one can find in other industries. Aside from the key role of the compliance officer, quality control, sales, marketing, and logistics are as important in the sector as in any medium- to large-sized business.

One of the problems companies face is the search for the right personnel, people who have been trained in business but who also understand cannabis and the clientele at hand. If we are talking about retail, naturally, not everyone who can sell shirts and pants can also sell cannabis products. Clients expect a certain knowledge when they go to a dispensary, and any outsiders looking to get in must really get up to speed.

Fortunately, there are valuable tools, such as WURK, an HR management platform that offers tailored solutions for the industry. WURK can help businesses streamline hiring, scheduling, payroll, and other complex aspects of HR management. The platform has been extremely successful because it addresses many issues that are central to the success of cannabis companies.

Today, there are between 165,000 and 230,000 people employed in the cannabis space nationwide, the Drug Policy Alliance reports. As the industry keeps growing, it needs to incorporate new workers with no experience in the sector. In that scenario, efficient onboarding and training become crucial.

Companies with experience necessarily become the place where new-hires go to learn the tricks of the trade. If onboarding fails, turnover increases, and so do hiring expenses. Cannabis businesses are at a stage where they need to invest heavily to be prepared to seize opportunities, and they cannot waste valuable resources in giving the right personnel the wrong training, or vice versa.

Pot businesses today face numerous challenges when it comes to HR. They must find and attract the right people, train them and onboard them properly, while also minimizing compliance failures. Finally, they need to engage and enthuse employees, so that no link in the chain becomes demotivated. It is an industry poised for growth, and it requires skill, knowledge, courage, and hope.


David Kani

David Kani is a Newport Beach, California based business lawyer with a focus on cannabis companies, their investors, employees and cannabis-related litigation.
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