( By Elton Mwangi)
The cannabis industry was expected to make an economic impact of 48 billion dollars in the year 2019 in the United States. In 2018, cannabis sales ranged between 8.6 billion dollars and 10.8 billion dollars. By 2025, cannabis sales are expected to reach 146 billion dollars.
These numbers make it clear that the legalization of recreational and medical cannabis is becoming a vital job creator in the country. Leafly and Whitney Economics released a report in February 2019 that revealed that cannabis legalization generated more than 211,000 full-time jobs in the nation.
This means that in the coming years, the Cannabis industry will provide more jobs in the American nation than the manufacturing industry. Besides, the Cannabis market offers work in different areas whether traditional or new.
Some examples of cannabis careers include master extractor, master grower, cannabis tester, edibles chef, and budtender. Some of the traditional careers that are in the cannabis market include Human resource manager, software developer, accountant, lawyer, writer, digital media manager, executive or administrative assistant, and security guard.
Moreover, the explosion in the popularity of cannabis has also led to a massive increase in the manufacturing of cannabis products such as hemp oil, skincare products, and beverages.
Problems Cannabis Companies Face
Nevertheless, while it is evident that cannabis has had a positive impact on the American economy, there are still negative connotations associated with the word “cannabis.” As a result, many of the companies associated with cannabis are facing several challenges, especially with regards to human resources and employee benefits for the cannabis community.
1. Federal Law
Despite the sanctioning of the sale of cannabis in many states, it still violates federal law. For instance, under Section 280E of the Internal Revenue Code, any goods sold related to cannabis are not deductible.
Hence, the sale of cannabis can complicate financial transactions. As a result, many national and mainstream banks do not want to be involved in the industry. Without banking, many of the cannabis companies encounter challenges with offering much of a benefits package.
2. Insurance Problems
Besides, this conflict between the state and the federal laws is discouraging many insurers from joining the cannabis market. Cannabis companies are prone to many risks such as theft, workplace accidents, and product liability.
Therefore, business insurance is vital to the industry. But because of the federal laws, restrictions, and uncertainties, many insurance companies are reluctant to help cannabis businesses protect employees through cannabis-related coverages.
Moreover, in cases where employees use cannabis products, they face the risk of being denied workers compensation. Such employees can also be terminated from work if their drug test comes up positive for cannabis.
3. Attracting and Hiring High-Quality Candidates
With the continued decline in the country’s unemployment rate, the job market is becoming tight. As a result, the hiring market is highly competitive. Additionally, many quality job seekers prefer attractive employee benefits to a pay rise.
According to a survey conducted by Glassdoor, many employees who seek a long term relationship with a company want a high quality 401(k) plan. Until recently, cannabis companies were denied access to 401(k) plans as well as other company-sponsored retirement plans for their employees.
4. The Playing Field is Unequal
Even though cannabis companies face the same challenges as other companies, the constraints put in place for these companies present a bigger problem especially with regards to benefit offerings. Additionally, the market is faced with many legal uncertainties, emerging risks, and unique hazards.
Solution for Cannabis Companies
Many cannabis companies do not have a dedicated compliance officer or a human resource executive. Hence, they require a trusted partner to provide many workplace management solutions such as scheduling and offering employee benefits for the cannabis community.
1. Zupnick and Associates
This is a company that is integrated with technological minds. As a result, their solution can replace an entire Human Resource department. The company is vital in helping cannabis companies assess human resource and business strategies.
The company also offers other services to cannabis companies such as life and health insurance for employees, property and liability insurance for the business, and worker’s compensation benefits.
2. Allen Financial Insurance Group
This insurance company specializes in helping the legal cannabis industry with securing the insurance products at a reasonable cost. These products are available depending on business needs. Allen offers options such as general liability, worker’s compensation, all risk property, and product liability to cannabis companies.
3. Dama Financial
The company offers cannabis businesses access to a secure as well as a transparent banking solution. Hence, with a Dama managed bank account, any cannabis business can reduce the safety risk of keeping a significant amount of cash on hand. The company also offers an efficient and reliable way of managing business transactions.
The connotations that are associated with the term “cannabis” present many challenges to the Cannabis market. Regardless of the many job opportunities that the industry has presented, factors such as the federal laws still make it difficult for cannabis businesses to protect employees and themselves through insurance covers and employee benefits for the cannabis community. Nevertheless, with companies such as Zupnick and Associates, cannabis businesses can be sure that their human resource needs are met.