Staying competitive with cannabis compensation

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cannabis salaries, Staying competitive with cannabis compensation

Payroll is the biggest expense for most companies, and controlling it is paramount to any cost-conscious business.

But paying competitive salaries is critical to attracting talented executives a company must have if it wants to grow – from managers and high-skill specialists to budtenders and trimmers.

If your employees leave because your competitors are offering higher salaries, you’ll end up paying the cost in training new employees and other onboarding expenses.

So, how well is the U.S. marijuana industry paying?

A recent salary survey conducted by Marijuana Business Magazine found that cannabis companies generally compensated executives, highly skilled employees and others at least as well as similar positions at companies in comparable industries.

While the news may surprise some, the migration of executives from high-flying firms such as Goldman Sachs, Nike, Diageo and others offers a clue that marijuana businesses are paying top dollar to land top talent.

Over the next three days, Marijuana Business Daily will focus on compensation in the cannabis industry.

The stories and charts drawn from reporting by Marijuana Business Magazine’s editorial staff will reveal findings to help executives plot salaries and empower other industry professionals with the information necessary to succeed in achieving their compensation goals.

Our coverage will offer valuable insights into why it’s important to get compensation strategies right and how to execute them.

Those insights come from executives who’ve built successful businesses not just by giving lip service to valuing their employees but by putting their money where their mouths are by paying and treating employees well.

In addition, interactive charts will allow readers to explore how compensation in the cannabis industry differs by region, state and, of course, different jobs in the industry.

Marijuana Business Magazine’s salary survey revealed several other important factors that are affecting cannabis industry compensation:

  • State-legal markets in the Eastern United States – especially Maryland – tend to pay more than Western markets, although Florida is an exception.
  • A tight national labor market and other factors mean the cannabis industry currently favors job seekers over employers.
  • The cannabis salary market is especially favorable for highly skilled workers such as senior cultivators and extractors. Entry- and midlevel workers are also doing well, though they face greater competition for jobs.
  • Many marijuana companies offer stock options to sweeten compensation packages and motivate employees.
  • The hottest job markets will be in states that recently launched – or are about to launch – medical and recreational cannabis programs.
  • Cannabis salaries will continue to face upward pressure as more states legalize marijuana.

But not all the news points to higher salaries in the months and years ahead:

  • Salaries are starting to plateau in more mature markets, and especially in markets that have acute oversupply problems.
  • As markets even out, some cannabis companies are trimming their costs by laying off their most senior and highest-earning employees and replacing them with more junior employees with less earning power.

The stories and graphics we offer beginning today will take deep dives into all these factors and how they may affect your compensation policy and cannabis company.

Click here to go to the Salary Snapshot landing page, which will update throughout the week.

(Omar Sacirbey was the lead reporter on Marijuana Business Magazine’s salary survey package.)