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HR and the Cannabis Industry: Emerging Trends and Best Practices

05 May

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The cannabis industry is rapidly growing, and as it continues to expand, more companies are emerging, creating an urgent need for qualified human resources personnel to manage the unique workforce requirements of this industry. As cannabis is still illegal on a federal level in the United States, the rules and regulations around employment practices in the industry are complicated, and HR departments need to be prepared to navigate them effectively.

In this blog, we’ll explore the emerging trends and best practices that HR departments should be aware of in the cannabis industry and provide relevant and recent statistics to help you understand the current landscape.

Workplace Safety

Safety is a critical concern in the cannabis industry, and HR departments need to be aware of the unique risks that employees may face. According to a recent report by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), cannabis workers are at risk of exposure to hazardous chemicals, including pesticides and fungicides, as well as physical hazards like electrical shocks and fires.

Best Practice: HR departments in the cannabis industry should develop comprehensive safety programs that address the unique risks associated with working in this industry. According to a survey by the National Safety Council, only 48% of cannabis industry employers have a safety program in place, highlighting the need for increased awareness and action.

Employee Training and Development

As the cannabis industry grows, so does the need for skilled employees. According to a recent report by New Frontier Data, the legal cannabis industry created more than 250,000 jobs by 2020. However, many of these jobs require specific skills and knowledge, and HR departments must invest in training and development programs to ensure their workforce is equipped to meet these demands.

Best Practice: HR departments in the cannabis industry should prioritize employee training and development, particularly in areas like compliance, customer service, and cultivation techniques. Investing in employee development not only benefits individual team members but also helps to attract and retain top talent, ultimately contributing to the long-term success of the company.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

As with any industry, diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) are critical concerns in the cannabis industry. According to a recent survey by Marijuana Business Daily, only 19% of cannabis business owners and founders are women, and only 4% are Black.

Best Practice: HR departments in the cannabis industry should prioritize DEI initiatives to create a more inclusive and diverse workforce. This can include initiatives such as unconscious bias training, diversity hiring goals, and employee resource groups. Not only is this the right thing to do, but research shows that diverse companies outperform their non-diverse counterparts.

In conclusion, the cannabis industry is rapidly evolving, and HR departments need to be proactive in staying ahead of emerging trends and implementing best practices. Prioritizing workplace safety, employee training and development, and diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives can help cannabis companies attract and retain top talent, while also ensuring compliance with the unique regulatory landscape of the industry. By staying on top of these trends and implementing best practices, HR departments can position themselves as leaders in the cannabis industry and contribute to the long-term success of their companies. For further assistance with your compliance efforts, contact VensureHR.

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