To win over job candidates, cannabis companies are increasingly offering incentives in addition to compensation, the most common of which are stock options.
In many other industries, especially new ones—think internet firms of the late 1990s—companies have offered stock options to employees. New companies, which might not be able to wrest a candidate from a stable job with an offer of a matching or even slightly higher salary, have a better opportunity for success if that offer includes stock options. This trend has reached the cannabis sector, where almost every company is a startup.
“Companies might say, ‘We haven’t been around for 50 years. We can’t do an insane match on a 401(k). We don’t have all the perks that maybe a huge Fortune 500 company has, but we can offer you stock options,” Vangst CEO Karson Humiston explained. “And if we all do what we’re planning on doing, as this company continues to grow and as our value goes up, these will likely be worth something that will likely be a lot greater than a 401(k) match or something like that.”
Stock options are very common among funded companies, Humiston noted. “Many investors will look for you to have an employee option pool. Great talent often demands some level of ownership,” she said. “The reason we’re seeing this more often is because all these companies are receiving so much funding.
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