MJBiz - September 2023 - 37

Download the 2023 Cannabis Compensation Survey Report featuring
pay for more than 100 positions at content.futuresense.com/2023ccs
Those employees could consider
themselves lucky to still be in the
cannabis industry, however, as people
interested in joining marijuana
companies are finding it harder to
break in than in years past. Companies
are seeking candidates with cannabis
experience, and many are looking for
work, Bradford said.
The hardest-hit positions are in
middle management, human resources
and marketing, observers said.
Middle managers are frequently
among the first to be laid off because
when companies look to reduce head
count, they try to balance the number
of individual contributors reporting to
a manager, Bradford said.
" You don't want 50 people reporting
in to one manager because how is that
manager going to be able to help grow
and develop those workers? ... It's
just not reasonable, " Bradford said.
" When you're reducing the number of
individuals within your organization,
you don't need as many layers in the
middle to support those workers.
That's the reason why we see middle
management getting laid off, and it's
not just in cannabis. "
Other positions that are getting
hit hard are those not perceived as
" revenue generating, " Bradford said,
including human resources, marketing
and compliance, which are being
outsourced to third-party providers.
One exception in the current
environment is hourly positions.
" Hourly workers haven't been
impacted, " Humiston said, explaining
that cultivators and manufacturers
still need harvesters, extraction
technicians, packagers and other jobs
that get product to market.
RIGHT TIME FOR PART TIME
Economic uncertainty has led many
companies to use temp workers,
fractional staff and consultants because
it's more affordable than hiring
permanent staffers and offers greater
flexibility. Employers don't have to
When you're
reducing the number
of individuals within
your organization, you
don't need as many
layers in the middle
to support those
workers. That's the
reason why we see
middle management
getting laid off,
and it's not just
in cannabis.
-Kara Bradford, Viridian Staffing
offer temp workers full-time benefits,
for example, Bernard said.
There's flexibility because employers
can bring in talent as they need it, and
there's agility because the company
that is hiring doesn't have to go through
a formal hiring process. By trying
someone out as a temp first, companies
get the assurance of having seen them
perform and deciding how they fit into
company culture, Bernard said.
" We're seeing a lot of companies
switching to more of a hybrid
workforce in the industry and only
hiring executives full time that are key
to the organization, " Bernard said.
CannabizTeam's temp staffing arm
is seeing more business from MSOs,
Bernard said. A lot of those jobs are
entry-level positions to help with preand
post-harvest staffing as well as
spots on manufacturing and packaging
lines, Bernard said.
EASTWARD MIGRATION
Most cannabis industry layoffs have
happened in mature markets in the
West-most notably California, which
had the biggest drop in cannabis
industry jobs. However, job growth
in the East has led to a migration
of workers from western to eastern
markets.
" The new license holders in those
states are all hiring, and they prefer
people with experience. They're
luring them with better benefits and
even higher salaries. Most companies
will also pay for relocation, " Bernard
said. " We're definitely seeing a little
bit of an eastward migration as far as
talent is concerned. "
She added: " Cultivation and
manufacturing are really big in
Maryland right now, getting enough
product available for the demand
that they're seeing with adult
use. There's a lot of hiring in each
vertical, from cultivation, extraction,
manufacturing, retail and all the
C-suite roles in those states as well, "
Bernard said, adding that many East
Coast natives who went west to work
in cannabis are returning home.
TALENT DRAIN
One concern in the current marijuana
labor market is that hourly employees
and salaried workers will leave
cannabis for other sectors because
of the industry's' struggles and other
sectors' ability to offer attractive pay
and benefits packages.
" Companies should retain as
much of the exceptional talent we
have in this industry. I'm really
worried about brain drain or talent
drain, because as an industry we've
spent so much time bringing in
people from other industries and
training these individuals, helping
them understand cannabis and also
learning from them about what
best practices from other industries
do and don't work in cannabis, "
Bradford said.
" One of my biggest concerns is
that we are losing talent to other
industries, and we won't be able to get
them back, " she said. " One big trend
right now is attrition. It's higher now
than it's ever been for hourly workers.
... We're competing for the same
hourly worker talent as a lot of other
industries right now. "
mjbizdaily.com | September 2023 37
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MJBiz - September 2023

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of MJBiz - September 2023

MJBiz - September 2023 - CT1
MJBiz - September 2023 - CT2
MJBiz - September 2023 - Cover1
MJBiz - September 2023 - Cover2
MJBiz - September 2023 - 3
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MJBiz - September 2023 - 5
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MJBiz - September 2023 - Cover3
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