by Jacob Carlson, Co-founder and CEO of EZHire The cannabis industry has been growing exponentially over the last few years and plenty of job... Member Blog: 6 Human Resource Tips For Your Cannabis Company 

by Jacob Carlson, Co-founder and CEO of EZHire

The cannabis industry has been growing exponentially over the last few years and plenty of job opportunities are coming with it. As businesses grow, they need to increase staff… and that takes time and money.

Not only do companies have to find and interview clients, because of all the legal matters tied to the industry, they also have to run background checks. The onboarding process and paperwork is another important matter to be dealt with. 

Cannabis businesses must stay on the right side of the law by making sure their hiring process is done correctly, and that’s where human resources comes in. Here are some human resource tips you should be aware of when you are hiring to meet your company’s needs. 

Considering Partnering with an HR Company

If you don’t have an HR department, hiring one comes with its own set of complications. Instead of bringing on yet more employees, considering partnering with an HR company that offers these services.

There are many HR companies that specialize in working with cannabis companies. They are familiar with all the legal requirements and they will make sure that all your I’s are dotted and your T’s are crossed. They also have advanced software to ensure processes are as efficient as possible. 

Know About Upcoming Changes in Federal Banking and Payroll

For years, the legal gray areas associated with cannabis companies kept them from having access to federal banks, mortgaging and financing. Now federal policymakers are coming closer to passing legislation to give businesses access to federally insured banks. Once that occurs payroll processing will become easier. 

It is advisable to partner with an HR company that is aware of what the new legislation will entail so they can make the transition as seamless as possible. 

Each Employee Should Know What’s Expected of Them

Every company should communicate with employees so they know exactly what’s expected of them. This is especially important in a cannabis company where there are stricter rules and regulations. If an employee does not follow the proper procedures, the company may have to deal with legal issues. 

An employee should be aware of their responsibilities early on. This should be clearly explained in the job description and it should come into play in the training. Additional materials and meetings should be provided if updates are made. 

Run Background Checks and Make Sure I-9’s are Filled Out

When an employee is hired, he or she must complete an I-9 Employment Eligibility form. This ensures their identity and ability to work in the United States. It is necessary in every industry. The form must be held on to for a few months and it may be asked for during an audit. 

A background check is not always necessary but it’s a good move, especially in the cannabis industry. A clean background check gives you the confidence in knowing your employee will be honest and competent. 

Classify Employees Correctly

A cannabis industry typically has a variety of employees that can include part-time, full-time, 1099 contractors, seasonal, interns, and so on. Seasonal jobs are especially common as trimmers and holiday sales reps may not work for the company year-round. 

It is important to know how each employee should be classified so you can give them the proper paperwork during the onboarding process. 

Here are some steps you should take to ensure you are classifying your employees correctly.

  • Know the Difference Between Employees or Independent Contractors: If you are not sure how to tell the difference, there are resources available that can provide you with information. 
  • Know the Difference Between Exempt and Nonexempt Employees: Exempt employees are entitled to overtime while nonexempt employees are not. Their status depends on the type of work they do and how much they make. Different states handle this differently.

A good HR company will help you classify your company correctly to keep you from incurring penalties. 

Encourage Employee Retention

The hiring process takes time and money. In order to avoid hiring new employees, companies should integrate fair practices within the workplace. This includes: 

  • A Smooth Onboarding Process: Employees should be made to feel welcome during the onboarding process and they should be well trained so they know what’s expected of them. 
  • Create an Employee Handbook: This will provide additional clarification concerning an employee’s duties and the workforce procedures.
  • Pay a Fair Salary: Compensating workers fairly will boost retention.
  • Offer Opportunities for Upward Mobility: Workers should be given opportunities for promotion as well as training that can help them advance in their career field. 

The cannabis industry is growing in leaps and bounds. If your company is expanding, these tips will ensure that your hiring and payroll processes are above board. Which practices do you enforce to avoid penalties in your cannabis business?  


Jacob Carlson is the Co-Founder and CEO of EzHire Cannabis. EzHire is a talent engagement platform designed for the cannabis industry. Jacob is a serial entrepreneur having previously co-founded a corporate event service (Just Enjoy!) and social media automation tool (RapidCrowd), and he is primed for scaling his next venture with his team of technology veterans.

Hiring in the cannabis industry is hard, EzHire Cannabis makes it easy. We help businesses in the cannabis, CBD and hemp post jobs, review qualified candidates profiles with video interviews and share them among their team. If you are tired of weeding through thousands of unqualified applicants or struggling to find someone with specific experience, we can help

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MJShareholders.com is the largest dedicated financial network and leading corporate communications firm serving the legal cannabis industry. Our network aims to connect public marijuana companies with these focused cannabis audiences across the US and Canada that are critical for growth: Short and long term cannabis investors Active funding sources Mainstream media Business leaders Cannabis consumers

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