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Best in Class: Top 10 Tips for Hiring Stellar Employees for Your Cannabis Business

Updated: May 4

The cannabis industry is rapidly expanding, and as it does, it's becoming increasingly important for businesses to hire top-notch employees to stay competitive. However, hiring great employees in the cannabis industry can be a challenging task, as there are many regulations and specific qualifications that need to be met. In this article, we'll cover the top 10 tips for hiring great employees in the cannabis industry.

Understand the Legal Landscape

Before you start hiring employees, it's important to understand the legal landscape of the cannabis industry. Depending on the state you're operating in, there may be different regulations that need to be followed. For example, some states require background checks and licensing for employees who work with cannabis. Understanding these regulations will help you make informed decisions when hiring employees and ensure that you're operating within the law.

Develop a Clear Job Description

One of the keys to hiring great employees is to develop a clear job description. This should include the qualifications and experience that are required for the role, as well as the duties and responsibilities that the employee will be expected to perform. Employees also love to know how much they'll be paid and what benefits will be offered. Sharing this information in the job description cuts straight to the point so no one wastes anyone else's time. By having a clear job description, you'll be able to attract the right candidates for the role and avoid wasting time interviewing individuals who aren't a good fit.

Look for Experience in Other Regulated Industries

The cannabis industry is highly regulated, so it's important to look for candidates who have experience working in regulated industries, even if they don't have direct cannabis industry experience. This could include individuals who have worked in the pharmaceutical or alcohol industries, as they will likely have experience working with regulations and compliance. Candidates with experience in the cannabis industry will also be a strong choice, as they will be familiar with the unique challenges that the industry presents. However, if you're opening a new cannabis business in a recently legalized state, there won't be many cannabis industry experienced candidates available!

Conduct Thorough Background Checks

When hiring employees in the cannabis industry, it's crucial to conduct thorough background checks. This includes checking criminal records, as well as verifying employment history and education. Given the sensitive nature of the cannabis industry, it's important to ensure that employees have a clean record and are trustworthy.

Prioritize Soft Skills

While technical skills and experience are important, it's also essential to prioritize soft skills when hiring employees in the cannabis industry. This includes traits such as communication, teamwork, and adaptability. These skills are especially important in a highly regulated industry, as employees need to be able to work well with others and be flexible in their approach to work. Adaptability intelligence is especially useful since things change so frequently in cannabis businesses.

Consider Hiring from Within the Industry

One way to ensure that you're hiring great employees is to consider hiring from within the industry. This could include individuals who have worked in dispensaries or other cannabis-related businesses. By hiring from within the industry, you'll be able to find candidates who are already familiar with the regulations and best practices of the industry, and who can hit the ground running. When hiring from within the industry, do your due diligence to find out why the employee is no longer with their past cannabis industry employer. Avoid making the common mistake of recycling employees through every cannabis business in the city just because they have industry experience, Sometimes an employee having a long list of industry experience simply means that they haven't worked out in many other cannabis businesses and there's no reason to add yours to the list.

Use Social Media to Attract Candidates

Social media can be a powerful tool for attracting candidates in the cannabis industry. You can use platforms like LinkedIn and Twitter to share job postings and connect with potential candidates. In addition, you can use social media to showcase your company culture and values, which can help to attract candidates who align with your mission and vision.

Create a Strong Employer Brand

To attract great employees, it's essential to create a strong employer brand. This includes developing a clear mission and values, as well as creating a positive work environment. When employees feel that they are valued and supported, they are more likely to be engaged and productive. In addition, a strong employer brand can help to attract top talent and differentiate your business from competitors. Zappos is a great example of a well developed employer brand. When Tony Hsieh started building the company culture, they had applicants practically begging to get to work for the company.

Provide Ongoing Training and Development

In the rapidly evolving cannabis industry, it's essential to provide ongoing training and development for your employees. This includes keeping up with new regulations and best practices, as well as providing opportunities for career growth and advancement. By investing in your employees, you'll be able to retain top talent and ensure that your business stays ahead of the curve.

Consider Personality and Cultural Fit

When hiring employees in the cannabis industry, it's important to consider not only their qualifications and experience but also their personality and cultural fit. This includes ensuring that they align with your company's values and mission, that they are a good fit for your team, and that they'll fit in well with your customers and vendors. Employees who fit well within your company culture are more likely to be engaged and productive, and they will help to create a positive work environment.


In conclusion, hiring great employees in the cannabis industry can be a challenge, but by following these 10 tips, you can increase your chances of finding top talent. By understanding the legal landscape, developing clear job descriptions, prioritizing soft skills, and providing ongoing training and development, you can attract and retain top talent. It's no easy feat as the industry has a notoriously high turnover rate! In addition, by using social media to attract candidates, creating a strong employer brand, and considering personality and cultural fit, you can ensure that you're building a strong and successful team that will help your business thrive in this rapidly growing industry.

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