(This is an abridged version of the cover story in the April issue of Marijuana Business Magazine.)
One doesn’t have to look much further than marijuana hiring managers to realize just how much acceptance legal cannabis businesses have gained among executives at mainstream companies.
“I have yet to have someone say, ‘I couldn’t work in cannabis.’ That threshold is crossed within the first 10 seconds,” Ed Schmults, CEO of Calyx Peak, a multistate marijuana operator headquartered in Massachusetts, told Marijuana Business Magazine.
Schmults himself transitioned from mainstream businesses – he previously served as CEO at FAO Schwarz and Patagonia – to the marijuana space.
Scott Wells, executive vice president of talent acquisition at Cresco Labs, a cannabis MSO in Chicago, has had similar experiences.
“I’d say less than 5% of the time, people respond and say, ‘Cannabis is too risky; I’m not interested,’” said Wells, who previously served in senior human resources roles at financial-services company Aon and management-consulting firm The Novo Group.
Though cannabis companies are managing to overcome stigmas associated with the plant, they still struggle to recruit executives with the right fit for their businesses.
Whatever phase a marijuana business might be in – startup, small, medium-sized or bigger – it could behoove a company to look outside the cannabis industry for management help.
That situation prompted the staff of Marijuana Business Magazine to huddle with industry experts to explore how to hire top leadership, including one of the most pressing topics – how to build an adequate compensation package:
- “Between base pay, bonuses and stock options, there’s an attractive plate of income.”
- “Every situation is unique. You could certainly find situations where we have paid less, equal to and more.”
- “We tell them what the value of the package is, then we ask them how they want it broken up.”
Marijuana Business Magazine’s cover package on hiring also takes deep dives into: