Recruiting, hiring, and training employees in the cannabis industry require a lot of time and money, and there’s no substitute for the experience that makes a new hire invaluable to a company’s growth.

Given these expensive upfront “costs” of employment, it’s in your cannabis company’s best interest to keep high-quality performers on board.


1. Offer On-Going Training

Your cannabis company expects your specialists will start jobs already fully trained and certified, but this isn’t always the case. When you are serious about educating your employees, they consider it an investment in their career.

Keep your employees productive and engaged by allowing them to participate in various training and development programs that hone their skills and prepare them for future opportunities within your cannabis business. A popular way to do this is through an in-house employee professional development program; this affords an employee career advancement opportunities while building loyalty.

Staff development – in addition to individual skills training – can also tighten team relationships, which improves the efficiency of inner-office communication and, ultimately, productivity. Involve managers in these employee development programs so that they can match talent to future positions.

As you do more to encourage personal and professional development within your company, you will see employee retention increase, along with their morale. Your employees should be fully aware of their job responsibilities, but beyond this, should be inspired to contribute to your company’s growth.


2. Provide Regular Communication and Feedback

It’s essential to emphasize the importance of communication in your cannabis business. You need to create an atmosphere that helps your team feel comfortable and inspired to share ideas and advance their common interests. Using eLearning solutions with a Learning Management System (LMS) can easily create regular discussion forums or conduct live webinar meetings for this exact purpose.

Give your staff constructive feedback regularly. Management needs to spend one-on-one time with each person, making it clear that you are open to concerns and suggestions for company improvement. Use the feedback that you receive to improve working conditions; this will no doubt earn the loyalty of your team.


3. Give Employees Ownership of Company Success

If your employees are satisfied with their cannabis workplace, they are committed to their work and inspired by your mission. Part of that loyalty comes from articulating a clear sense of ownership in company success.

Don’t forget to share your hopes and dreams about the future of your company with your employees. Make sure they support each other and understand what they can do to invest in new and exciting projects.

Clear compensation goals are also key; if you set a promotion policy, your employees will do their jobs properly and will associate their future with your company in the cannabis industry. Your employees should not only know their daily duties but also have long-term objectives that further the corporate mission.

4. Allow Flexible Schedules

Nowadays, most employees are in favor of flexible working conditions. Many job candidates – as many as 70% -strongly believe that flexible work hours would make a job more attractive to them. If employers want to hire top talent, they need to make this a priority and there are also key benefits to the employers that choose to invest in flexible work schedules and settings.

If possible, you can reduce your operating overhead by offering to telecommute, for example. Telecommuting gives employees the chance to appropriately balance personal and professional lives while getting their job done. It also girds an employer-employee relationship with trust – a key quality that can cement an employee’s long-term commitment to a company.

Overall, people who work remotely enjoy reduced stress levels and can eliminate some of the costs associated with commuting. Employers, on the other hand, see increased productivity and loyalty. It’s a win-win for everybody.


5. Pay Your People Well

Employee salaries must be commensurate with their job responsibilities and experience in the cannabis industry. It’s better to pay a hard-working employee well than to lose money on replacement training. As difficult as it is to pay competitive salaries when budgets are tight, calculate the costs you could spend on replacing employees.

It can cost as much as 50% of an entry-level employee’s annual salary just to replace them. And keep this in mind: If an employee’s compensation is truly unsatisfactory – even if the company culture is amazing – they will look for work elsewhere.

At the end of the day, they work for a living.


6. Offer “Cannabis Industry” Benefits

Small cannabis companies often struggle to compete with larger businesses to offer adequate benefits. While you likely can’t beat big business in the healthcare options, you can balance the scales with other perks:

  • Free or discounts product
  • Traveling and cannabis tradeshow opportunities
  • Cannabis networking events
  • Telecommuting work
  • Transportation reimbursement
  • Tuition coverage
  • Daycare services
  • Flexible vacation
  • To name just a few ideas…


7. Hire a Human Resources Professional

As your company grows, you will probably find it difficult to manage your human resources without sacrificing the attention you give to other parts of your business.

Hiring a human resources manager provides a needed resource for employees who have questions about compensation, benefits, and development – while giving you time to grow your cannabis business.

Beyond answering questions about employee compensation, a human resource professional will keep the company in line with relevant regulatory requirements while keeping an eye on hiring trends and shifts in common benefits packages.

You won’t have to seek these out on your own, and employees will know you’re offering the best compensation packages the company can afford.



Increasing the level of retention is key to your company’s success in the cannabis industry, but it doesn’t have to be difficult. Start by implementing positive, frequent, and open communication with your staff. Compensate your talent well, and offset any big business offerings with lifestyle and work schedule benefits you can afford.

Give your team ownership over your company’s success and encourage them to continue training. And finally, when your company is big enough, hire human resource professionals to support your talent – while giving you time to further company goals in the cannabis industry.

Let us know what you think.