By Deborah Saneman, Chief Operating Officer, Würk and Jojo Palacio, Head of People and Strategy, Würk
The cannabis industry’s latest growth phase has not only mainstreamed the plant among everyday consumers but also created an influx of new professional opportunities across the country. At the beginning of 2022, the regulated industry reportedly sustained over 428,000 full-time jobs –amounting to a 33 percent increase compared to the previous year.
The sector’s rising rates of year-over-year job growth are especially consequential during a period when more workers than ever are prioritizing compensation, work culture and benefits packages during their job search. In this highly competitive job market, cannabis companies must refocus their human resources strategies to attract and retain critical talent. Both new and established cannabis businesses can position themselves as outstanding employers by strategically optimizing internal processes and putting employee needs first.
Set higher payroll standards
Due to cannabis’ current status as a Schedule I substance, most financial institutions will not engage with legal, plant-touching companies. This obstacle inevitably trickles down to vital internal services like payroll processing. As a result, paycards and on-demand payments are still not widely available in the industry. However, these regulatory hurdles should not preclude cannabis companies from providing consistent and timely paychecks, especially when living costs are soaring.
In this highly regulated space, navigating the myriad of federal and local payroll laws can create unintended opportunity costs –which is why businesses should consider working with cannabis-specific payroll providers. These dedicated platforms are built with compliance in mind and have established relationships with vetted banks that service the cannabis industry. Leveraging features such as automated payroll management streamlines day-to-day operations by enabling companies to offer paychecks via direct deposit and utilize automated tax filings to maximize 280E deductions. Companies that implement modern payroll processing practices demonstrate that they value their employees’ time and contributions.
Be meticulous about following data and tax protocols
Of course, correctly collecting employee documentation is an integral part of ensuring seamless payroll processing. Companies must be diligent about having employees complete all applicable paperwork correctly during the onboarding process. Essential information, such as W-2 forms and state-specific employer identification numbers (EIN), must be securely stored in a system that is organized and …