MJBiz - September 2023 - 45

Download the 2023 Cannabis Compensation Survey Report featuring
pay for more than 100 positions at content.futuresense.com/2023ccs
A
s members of a highly
scrutinized industry,
marijuana executives tend to
dread new rules and regulations. But
pay-transparency laws, which mandate
that employers publish pay ranges
in job advertisements in an effort to
combat pay discrepancies between
genders and races, are policies that
many cannabis C-suiters embrace.
At least eight states have paytransparency
laws, and all of them
have regulated recreational marijuana
markets: California, Colorado,
Connecticut, Maryland, Nevada, New
York, Rhode Island and Washington.
Other states, such as Illinois, are
following suit.
" Pay-transparency laws have
changed the dynamics of making job
offers and hiring candidates. It brings
clarity to the negotiation process,
which is good. With everyone having
an understanding of the pay range up
front, the candidates can make a more
informed decision. It creates a sense
of fairness in the hiring process, " said
Christian Chavez, CEO and co-founder
of Statis, a marijuana retailer in the
Bronx, New York, that opened July 6
with 28 employees.
Chavez said Statis began hiring
manager-level employees 90-120
days before opening and the other
employees 60-90 days before opening.
Nichole Upshaw, chief retail
and people officer for marijuana
multistate operator Jushi Holdings,
also said pay-transparency laws make
hiring fairer and easier because they
narrow candidate expectations and
simplify negotiations during the
recruiting process-while also reducing
or eliminating conflicts between
colleagues about pay differences.
While only some states have
introduced pay-transparency laws,
Upshaw said she introduced pay
transparency when she started at Jushi
in 2019.
Switching to pay transparency from
the previous system required a simple
Nicole
Upshaw
factors in the experience and skill set
for each position and candidate.
Of course, the health of the business
informs how much it can afford to
pay employees, based on revenue
projections.
Jushi also uses a " market-based
approach " to determine salary ranges
and offers, Upshaw said.
" You are researching what
the competitors are doing, what
competitors outside the industry are
doing, " Upshaw said.
She also uses software tools and
You are
researching what
the competitors
are doing, what
competitors outside
the industry are doing
(in setting salary
ranges).
-Nicole Upshaw, Jushi
change that had profound impact,
Upshaw said.
Before pay transparency caught on,
hiring managers would ask candidates
their past and current salaries and then
make offers based on that information.
" As a result, companies would end up
with pay all over the place because they
were using that to drive their decisionmaking, "
Upshaw said.
The other result was a potential
for friction between colleagues over
unequal pay.
So, how are salaries determined in
areas with pay-transparency laws?
" We conduct market research,
understanding prevailing wage rates
for similar roles in the industry-and
also a wider retail comparison, like with
the pharmaceutical sectors, " Chavez
said. He added that location and cost of
living also are considerations, and he
compensation consultants. For
example, Salary.com is a popular
tool that allows hiring managers to
see what workers in similar positions
are earning. Jushi also hired a
compensation consulting firm to help
establish a structure for determining
salary ranges.
For example, a retailer tells the
compensation consultant which
positions a store needs-budtender, shift
supervisor, assistant general manager,
general manager, area manager and
so on. The consultant then studies the
pay ranges for those roles, taking into
account location and cost of living.
It's important for businesses to
provide compensation consultants with
as much information about the roles as
possible, Upshaw added.
While pay-transparency laws can
make hiring easier, they sometimes
require executives to explain their
salary and hiring decisions to
candidates-something executives
should be prepared to do.
" Pay transparency also puts pressure
on the employer to explain why
certain positions are paid more than
others, " Chavez said. Sometimes it's
experience, skill set or another factor,
he added.
Omar Sacirbey is senior
writer for MJBizMagazine.
You can reach him at omar.
sacirbey@mjbizdaily.com.
mjbizdaily.com | September 2023 45
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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
MJBiz - September 2023 - 4
MJBiz - September 2023 - 5
MJBiz - September 2023 - 6
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MJBiz - September 2023 - 8
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MJBiz - September 2023 - Cover3
MJBiz - September 2023 - Cover4
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