In spite of widespread legalization and social acceptance of
marijuana, the cannabis business continues to face some of the toughest
compliance and business enterprise obstacles out there. Hiring, onboarding, and even
employee retention struggles frequently are the outcome of situations employers can not
manage. With the cannabis industry increasing to a $57-billion business by 2027,
challenges are going to boost as workforce and output expand.

Managing a smooth hiring and onboarding approach though
meeting business compliance specifications is in particular complicated due to
conflicting federal and state laws. Right here are the top rated 3 complications and their


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1) Overcoming hiring hurdles

Hiring is challenging. Regardless no matter if your business enterprise is hiring
for cultivation, production, or retail, a host of information will have to be gotten correct.
From applying the appropriate words in job descriptions to sorting via and
interviewing candidates, every crucial piece holds the possible to reduced
turnover and maximize productivity. But be warned: Hiring is frequently a cannabis
business’s greatest weakness. 

In an increasingly competitive landscape, you require to make
confident your business enterprise is not losing possible personnel due to an outdated hiring
approach. According to Glassdoor, job openings in the cannabis business rose 76
% from 2017 to 2018. Candidates are far a lot more most likely to say yes to a
company’s provide if they’ve seasoned a good interview approach.

Right here are a couple of methods to retain possible candidates informed
and engaged though preserving compliance: 

Lead with the appropriate expectations. Take care to involve all
elements of a provided position, in particular regarding particular verifications or
qualifications needed to fulfill every part. When describing perfect candidates,
stay away from words that could be thought of discriminatory. Most of all, be
transparent about the approach you will comply with when a candidate is thought of.
This assists stay away from setting your possible candidates up to fail.

Employ a human sources specialist. Recruiting, posting jobs,
managing leads, and hiring calls for a good deal of work and interest. Do not
make the error of pondering it is also high-priced to employ a complete-time HR
specialist. HR pros ought to know how to interpret compliance laws to stay away from
lawsuits from personnel, suppliers, and business enterprise partners. The revenue and
headaches saved by entrusting compliance to an specialist a lot more than pays for

Automate your approach. Workforce management application enables
you to integrate with major job boards, screen applicants, and track
possible personnel all through the hiring approach with minimal work. With so
numerous kinds of data to handle, applying contemporary options can make sure an
operation is no cost of missteps and inconsistencies in a fraction of the time
needed to do all the things manual operations would need.

two) Avoiding I-9 compliance pitfalls

The I-9, or Employee Eligibility Kind, is the federal type
filled out by each employers and personnel to confirm their identity and
eligibility to perform in the United States. The type was developed by Citizenship
and Immigration Solutions. For numerous, this is by far the most complicated aspect of a
compliant hiring and onboarding approach.

Supplying documentation is not normally simple. If
an individual was not born in the U.S. but is legally in a position to perform right here, they are not
to be denied employment due to lack of citizenship. The Immigration Reform and
Manage Act prohibits any type of discrimination primarily based on citizenship or
national origin exactly where legal permission and representation have been obtained.

The most effective way to navigate this step in the hiring approach is

Use E-Confirm. E-verification enables employers to confirm the
determine and employment eligibility of new hires electronically. The program
compares data supplied by personnel on the I-9 with records maintained
by the Social Safety Administration and the Division of Homeland

Operate in a timely matter. 1 of the most popular errors
employers make is not finishing the I-9 type inside 3 business enterprise days of the
employee’s 1st day on the job. Make confident to register new personnel with the
state to stay away from accumulating penalties.

Be transparent with possible personnel from day 1. The
final factor you want to do is choose a best candidate, only to face
complications clearing them with the federal government. The a lot more transparent
you are from the begin about what verifications are required, the a lot more most likely you
are to stay away from complications.

three) Attaining wage compliance on each and every level

Wage compliance may perhaps finish with payroll, but it begins with
classification. If you are classifying personnel as contractors when they’re
really complete- or aspect-time workers, you danger not only internal conflicts, but
also legal penalties, expensive lawsuits, and incorrect tax filings as nicely. You
require to determine, from the get-go, what kinds of workers are needed to
fulfill every position and what federal and state compliance dictates for every

Classify your personnel appropriately. You may perhaps be hiring seasonal
contractors as aspect of your harvesting or trimmers force come fall, but most
marijuana companies employ mainly complete-time or aspect-time personnel. The guidelines
for these two employee kinds (contract and non-contract) are ordinarily mutually
exclusive, so be clear and constant with every sort of employment.

Know your city- and state-level specifications. Do not assume
federal compliance is adequate. Points like minimum wage and quantity of personnel
impact numerous kinds of compliance based on the guidelines and regulations
inside your city, county, and state and the size of your business enterprise. Evaluation
components such as shift differentials for hires taking on a number of roles and
overtime regulations to retain 1 onboarding error from costing you down the

The cannabis business is evolving quickly, and for numerous new and expanding companies, there is nonetheless significantly to discover. By creating sound hiring and onboarding practices and preserving strict labor compliance, you can overcome popular challenges and position your business enterprise for maximum development. 


Michelle Lanter Smith is chief promoting officer at EPAY Systems, exactly where she oversees the company’s go-to-industry technique, client achievement, and technical assistance operations. She possesses a lot more than twenty years of leadership knowledge with higher-tech and service-driven firms. Smith holds a Master of Business enterprise Administration from Northwestern University’s Kellogg College of Management.