Got Employees? The Top 6 Tips for Cannabiz Training & Retaining

Dec 15, 2021 | Cannabis Laws & News, Dispensary

Finding, training, maintaining, and retaining good employees can seem like a full-time job for any Cannabiz owner. And with a 32% increase in cannabis employees in 2020 alone – it’s a job you’ve got to take seriously for success.

So what are some of the best practices that can help stay ahead of the competition for cannabis staffing solutions? Keep reading to learn more about the current state of hiring cannabis employees, and the top cannabis staffing tips you need to succeed.

Mo’ workers, mo’ problems

With the recent publishing of Leafly’s 2021 Job Report we now know more about cannabis staffing, in general. Like, that 32% increase brings the number of legal workers in the industry to a total of 321,000. An amount that’s more than the combined total of EMTs and paramedics in the country, and twice as many as the number of dentists.

It doesn’t appear the industry or cannabis staffing will be slowing down any time soon – but there are improvements to be made. To stay in touch with the pulse of the industry, here are some other notable report findings that every Cannabiz owner should know:

  • Over the last four years, cannabis industry jobs have increased by 161%.
  • 2020 Cannabis product sales equaled $18.3 billion an increase of 71% from 2019.
  • Although Black Americans make up 13% of the national population, they represent only 1.2% – 1.7% of cannabis company owners in total.

In the end – you’re not only competing for sales or clients but employees too. Which makes it even more important to avoid mo’ employees, mo’ problems for your Cannabiz.
Let’s get into the best practices for finding cannabis employees, and the best practices for training cannabis employees you need to know for ultimate success.

The Top 6 Cannabis Staffing Tips

Bookmark, share, or get screenshot-ready! Here are the top 6 cannabis staffing tips to help craft a solid hiring and training process for your Cannabiz.

Be proactive

Don’t wait until you need a new employee and get stuck with only those that apply (not that, that’s always a bad thing!). Instead, be proactive about meeting and networking with potential candidates before the opportunity is available.
By attending industry organizations events you can meet and mingle with potential employees who are already interested, and dedicated to the industry demonstrated by their attendance and engagement, alone.

Have a strong SOP

To have a consistently well-trained work base, it’s best to begin onboarding on the right food.
What helps? A strong standard operating procedure that outlines a roadmap to success for bringing on new cannabis employees. From learning their department’s specific regulations, to learning how internal processes are handled – an informed employee is a happy employee.
Plus, with a clear concise plan and guide, you can avoid compliance and human resources issues that may lead to lowered morale.

Interview matters

Meeting the potential candidate and understanding more about their professional history will give you a sneak peek into the type of employee they may be. Most importantly, is checking qualifications and job history. Just because someone may know a lot about weed through home growing or consuming – doesn’t mean they should be a shoo-in for the job. Whether in the cannabis industry or not, not having an established job history can be a red flag as to personal reasons why they haven’t held a steady position.

Even without experience in cannabis, look for transferable skills or experience and get to know employees to gauge their personal drive and motivation to learn.

Stay competitive

Knowing that the cannabis industry is expected to grow, means your competition will too. Staying competitive with pay rates, salaries and benefits will be important. Especially with cannabis employees that are so like-minded, and well-connected in the personal and professional space. As industry workers come together, and spill the tea amongst one another – you’ll want to be sure to be paying fair, and desired rates to keep workers from going astray.

To give you a clue, currently, experts say entry-level employees should be making at least $15/hour, while mid-level employees should be between $15-$20.

Cultivate a winning company culture

Common sense and history prove it’s harder for good employees to leave a company culture they love. So, build one! A positive company culture is not only key for retaining employees, but also for attracting the right ones through recruiting.
Like any industry, employee perks, benefits, and positive past employee reviews can help draw in candidates. Meaning, don’t go burning bridges with employees you part with too, as word of mouth can travel fast.

Put me in, Coach!

Recently, more and more companies have been implementing the use of mentors and coaches throughout the training process. Having a peer or close superior to turn to throughout the training process proves to be a personal and positive connection for new cannabis employees. By setting goals, and working side-by-side with a current employee, new staff get the opportunity for hands-on learning, and improved empowerment for success from within.

The Bottom Line

You know what they say – you’re only as strong as your weakest link. So don’t let cannabis staffing take you down. Go on and use these tips to strengthen your businesses’ process in hiring, training, and retaining the best cannabis employees.
For more cannabis staffing tips, and all the latest Cannabiz news – connect with us socially on Facebook or Instagram now!

About The Author

<a href="" target="_self">Courtney Trzos</a>

Courtney Trzos

To Courtney, it’s always 420 somewhere… After attending Michigan State University and working in communications for over 10 years, she took her passion for cannabis, professionally. In 2017, Courtney began freelancing as a writer for cannabis brands across the globe, promoting the therapeutic and recreational use of the plant, while helping her partner cultivate crops full-time, and learning more about the industry from a seed-to-sale perspective. Get in touch with her and follow her journey at