How to hire the best team for your cannabis business

How to hire the best team for your cannabis business

The cannabis industry has become one of the most sought-after industries and enthusiasts and young entrepreneurs alike are looking for new career opportunities in this growing space. With many different career paths and job titles, a bright and growing future and salary levels that continue to rise, why wouldn’t smart and motivated employees want a position in this field?


While owning a cannabis business is a promising industry to enter, like any business, finding, retaining and managing employees comes with its challenges. However, the success of your enterprise is completely dependent on finding the right team and leading them well. The number one key to a successful cannabis business is to have knowledgeable and skilled employees running the business. Hiring the wrong persons can cause legal issues,  operational headaches, customer satisfaction challenges and eventual a failed business.


In this article, you will learn how to hire the best team for your cannabis business.

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Determine the specific job needs


Like any other business, entering cannabis without previous knowledge of the field is risky. Understand the roles needed to run the various portions of your operation is critical so research is step one before beginning.


Just like any businesses of any  meaningful size, a management and administration structure is important. This hierarchies help create the required job positions for recruitment, develop the strategic direction of the business and conduct oversight to ensure proper execution. From a hiring perspective, leaders need to analyze prospective employee’s strengths and weaknesses and compare their knowledge and skills to the demand of the job profiles. Trying to fit a square peg into a round hole typically ends up creating an unhappy employee, a frustrated client base and a failing business. Make sure the job suite the employee.


Create a probationary period where the employee is guided closely to ensure that there is alignment of skill, talent and positional needs before committing to long terms employment.


In the cannabis business, legal-related jobs are one of the most critical roles to ensure its success, security, and safety for the company. Don’t cut corners here. Find the best and most knowledgeable resources you can afford.  It is potentially best to hire consultants on a fractional basis in this role than to be stuck with a full time employee that provides less that perfect advice.


Offer competitive employment package


Recruiting employees is one of the most challenging tasks in the industry. Given the legal challenges and obstacles associated with the industry, finding skilled employees is tougher than it seems and getting tougher everyday. There are definitely more positions than there are qualified and competent individuals so the compensation package needs to be attractive to get top talent.


Often a cannabis business does come with reduced job security (and can also taint someone’s resume who may want to go back into a less scrutinized industry). To compensate for it, the job profile needs a salary that matches the level of risk and should also come with perks and benefits to land the ideal candidate.


With large public companies now centered in the industry, salary and compensation packages have definitely increased in overall value. This has caused many challenges for smaller operator. These small to medium cannabis businesses need to be creative to find ways to attract and keep talent with perks like free products, retirement plans, stock plans, bonuses, revenue share, vacations and more.


Recruit experienced and trained personnel


It is imperative for a cannabis business to have a group of experienced and well-trained personnel. Recruiting inexperienced employees could impose a greater risk than good. Cannabis is an industry that is less tolerant towards setbacks and inefficient work. Therefore, one needs to hire employees who are familiar with the industry and are skilled enough to carry a responsibility efficiently.


In selecting the applicants, you have to be sure that those you will choose to be part of your business have good knowledge of how the cannabis industry operates. Consider those persons that had dispensary training and certifications which are proof of their competencies in the field. Those with previous relevant work experiences are a far better for your company than a “pot enthusiast”.


At the same time, many of the core administrative positions are similar to those in other industries (HR, Administrative Assistant, Shipping clerk, ecommerce expert, social media manager, etc). So while an expertise in the world of cannabis might be important for some roles and well worth the premium, finding talent with experience in other industries should not be overlooked.


PEO or Temp Services


Another way to hire the best team for your cannabis business is through a PEO services. PEO services (which stand for a professional employer organization) allow you to enter into a joint relationship or partnership with an employer from where it will lease its employees. PEO services offer to outsource various human resource management tasks like payroll outsourcing, tax administration, and other relevant HR works.


Temp or Staffing agencies may also be useful for more administrative roles. They also tend to be more flexible around employee hours worked. It can be a great way to manage any seasonality or sudden gaps that weren’t expected


Get Consultants


Finally, getting consultants on how to build the best team for your cannabis business is another good option. Through the help of these external human resource experts specific to the field, you can develop a group of personnel that will be complementary to one another at a more cost-effective price point. You should also consult with cannabis security professionals on how to create a physical and cyber security strategy for your cannabis business, while maintaining security compliance in your local area. Not every role needs a full time employee. Sometime having fractional assistance is sufficient in some roles.


Some agencies even provide consultancy for the full operations and management of your business. While these will be more costly than developing your own team, it reduces a lot of HR head aches and allows you to see the operations run efficiently. This can let management focus on sales and strategy knowing the operations is taken care. Eventually, the operational team can be taken in house and optimized internally.




Starting a cannabis business, is like starting any other business; the team you build must be competent and skilled if you want the business to be competent and profitable. The success of this unique kind of business also requires unique people to work in it. Hire the best team you in order to help really maximize the change of success. Start by determining the roles you need and the types of positions required, create a strong employment package with all the right perks, train experienced personnel so they can hit the ground running and if you need additional help, look for consultants and temps to fill the gaps.


In no time, you’ll have a business that your customer will love to work with and one that operates efficiently and legally.



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