WorkForce: Pot Industry Cultivates a New Branch with HR

As Diego Pellicer continues to innovate and set precedent in the legal cannabis industry, we are glad to take part in conversations like the one we had with WorkForce. Check out an excerpt with quotes from Diego’s own Allan Golod.

As recreational marijuana buds into a legitimate billion-dollar business from its seedy past, human resources professionals are encountering business challenges that are both familiar and new.

In states with legalized recreational marijuana, business is blooming.

Since Colorado’s landmark vote to be the first state to legalize recreational pot in November 2012, seven more plus Washington, D.C., have followed suit. Regulated marijuana sales in North America totaled $6.9 billion in 2016, a 30 percent increase from 2015. Sales are projected to increase to $21.6 billion by 2021 representing a 26 percent compound annual growth rate.

With that much green, the recreational marijuana industry is attracting entrepreneurs and deep-pocketed investors. Since 2014, public and private companies put $1 billion in capital to work in the cannabis industry, according to a recent report published by Arcview Market Research, a research firm dedicated to the marijuana industry.

But behind the large sums of investment money pouring in and media excitement about this budding industry, marijuana dispensaries must tackle the same problem any new business faces: getting started.

“A lot people have trouble setting up their company correctly from a corporate structure,” said Allan Golod, chief operating officer at Diego Pellicer, a high-end recreational marijuana dispensary based in Denver. “The initial fringe appeal that brought people to the marijuana business has given way to trying to figure out how to be a full-on, legitimate industry.”

As the production and sale of marijuana moves from an illegal, underground endeavor to a legitimate multibillion-dollar industry, employers are encountering challenges similar to any other business when it comes to recruitment and workforce management.

Additionally, since marijuana remains an illegal Schedule 1 drug under the federal Controlled Substances Act, and state laws allow employers to maintain drug-free workplaces, recreational marijuana dispensaries struggle with the ambiguity that governs the industry.

From this perspective, recreational marijuana dispensaries face common, difficult challenges to operating a successful business.

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