Top 5 Tips for Successful Cannabis Human Resources & How Compliance Matters


Although cannabis industries vary from state to state, all markets share one common fact: business is booming. As business thrives, market growth creates a demand for cannabis work, despite national record unemployment rates. In fact, according to the 2021 Leafly Jobs Report, cannabis job opportunities grew by 32 percent in the last year. Now, there are now 321,000 US citizens working for the legal industry, such as through dispensary careers. That’s more than aircraft pilots, EMTs and paramedics, and electrical engineers. 

With the rising number of jobs in cannabusinesses, cannabis company owners coast-to-coast are now tasked with the challenge of retaining a positive workplace environment while also maintaining a strong compliance culture. To balance these two goals for success, we’ve compiled the top cannabis human resources tips for you.


1. Use data to inform your decisions

Advanced human resources technology gives business owners the advantage to analyze data. By seeing your business from a data-driven lens, you can improve effectiveness across departments, forecast trends ahead, and make better hiring decisions from the start. It’s a proactive rather than reactive approach to decision making.

These benefits are just a few reasons why now 85 percent of companies see “people analytics” as a high priority for future success, according to HR data firm Deloitte Insights. As other industries advance in HR technological solutions for valuable and accurate data, cannabis is expected to follow. Allow this HR shift to empower your ability to make evidence-based decisions.

2. Expand employee resources and training

When it comes to cannabis storage guidelines, securing the storage is most important to maintaining compliance. Meeting security requirements can be as simple as identifying the proper lock, cannabis vault, dispensary money safe, or dispensary security safe for your business needs for long term cannabis storage. However, it can also be more in-depth and involved, such as maintaining video monitoring that works optimally 24/7. This also includes staying updated with regulatory changes as they occur.

Without keeping up with regulatory changes regarding cannabis storage solutions, your business could be out of compliance without even knowing it. For example, recently Maryland made regulatory changes clarifying off-site video archiving requirements. Cannabis businesses are now required to store video surveillance footage for 90 days, rather than the previous requirement of 30 days. Maryland licensees also must share relevant recording footage upon request of the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission (MMCC) or law enforcement within 48 hours.

3. Define job roles clearly

Some state cannabis regulations have stricter rules for employee compliance than others. For instance, if a state requires that only certain employees can handle cannabis products and the employees are unaware of the regulation, it’s only a matter of time before a mistake occurs. 

This also means some state agencies can watch surveillance camera footage closely and see if an employee missteps to collect money in fines. To avoid warnings or violations, ensure your employee job roles are clearly defined; each employee should be well trained in what tasks and procedures are required for their role. By clearly defining job roles, you’ll not only benefit compliance-wise, but employees will also understand the expectations and tasks related to their job title.

4. Craft a positive workplace culture


You’ll want to minimize any avoidable frustration and stress in a workplace culture. One way to craft a positive workplace culture is to incentivize retention. Many cannabis job opportunities can be prone to high turnover. This includes job positions related to working in a dispensary, trimming in a cultivation center, or transporting products to and from businesses. Here are some recommended tips for combatting the monetary loss of employee turnover:

  • Outline specific duties, responsibilities, and expectations in cannabis job postings
  • Provide proper on-boarding;
  • Offer professional development opportunities;
  • Pay fair and accurately; and
  • Highlight company mission and core values through employee materials. 

When an employee understands and respects your business both personally and professionally, they’ll be more likely to stay with your company and be less likely to seek another job at a different business, especially a competitor. 

5. Maintain proper employee documentation

As for cannabis human resources and compliance, it’s not only state regulatory agencies you’ll have to worry about—it’s the federal government and IRS, too. Any and every employee you hire is required to fill out an I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification, and you’ll be expected to retain that information for a certain period of time, regardless of employee status, too.

To avoid hiccups with auditing, there are clear requirements you’ll want to be outlined in your SOP or processes to automate in any way you can. This isn’t the only type of employee documentation that can complicate tax season or an audit, either. That’s why having systems in place to definitively and clearly define the difference between 1099 contractors, full-time employees, seasonal help, part-time employees, and intern classifications are crucial for auditing purposes and beyond.

Technology solutions for HR and compliance

When thinking about implementing HR solutions, intuitive and innovative compliance technology can help by streamlining your company’s SOPs, training modules, and employee documents with an all-in-one software solution. Not only will operations run more smoothly, but this software can provide accurate data and analytics for growth, positioning your business for long term success.

With exponential industry job growth, now’s the time to check out ProCanna’s robust collection of tools and features for compliance and human resource success. Request a demo to see how the software seamlessly integrates with any cannabis business type. Follow ProCanna on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn for all the latest regulatory industry news, tips, and updates.