By any estimation, 2020 was an abysmal year. A killer virus swept the planet, destroying lives and livelihoods. In an effort to bridle the pandemic, governments worldwide issued stay-at-home orders and shuttered non-essential businesses. Companies laid off staff; some closed forever. By the time society and commerce began to reopen, the economy had become mired in a Catch-22: Businesses couldn’t operate because they had too few employees, but they couldn’t afford to hire more employees because unemployed consumers couldn’t afford to buy anything.
The world will never be the same, but in some ways that’s a good thing. The pandemic showed office workers and their employers remote working could benefit both by reducing overhead, increasing productivity, and allowing more family time. Pandemic lockdowns also encouraged people to reevaluate their career choices; many workers chose to seek better wages and benefits instead of returning to previous jobs. A recent study conducted by the McKinsey Global Institute found more than 100 million workers in the world’s eight largest economies may switch occupations by 2030.
The pandemic initiated a time of extraordinary change across all industries. Employers and employees alike learned that to survive, they must rely on one another. In order to get the best from shell-shocked teams, companies are paying more attention to employees’ mental, physical, and financial wellbeing. In return, happier, more well-adjusted employees are more productive and less likely to leave. It’s a win-win situation.
The cannabis industry is ahead of the game. Thanks in part to being declared “essential” early in the pandemic — along with pharmacies, medical practices, and grocery stores — the industry enjoyed its best year yet in terms of sales and overall growth. Support for legalization has never been stronger, with nearly 70 percent of Americans now in favor and the political conversation in Washington, D.C., turning from if to when.
In 2021, as more states open the door to retail cannabis, job listings across the board have increased dramatically. Recruiters are working the phones like never before, engaging with highly skilled professionals from other industries. In mature markets, experienced cannabis professionals are in particularly high demand, while companies in newly legal markets from Detroit to Tulsa to Boston are offering job seekers an opportunity to gain a foothold in an industry that is expected to be worth $100 billion by 2030.
As 2022 approaches, cannabis companies are looking for creative ways to entice these new workers while retaining knowledgeable, seasoned employees. Opportunities abound to define unique company cultures and working environments, whether through flexible schedules and social consciousness or loaded benefits packages and investment in training and education.
America’s Top Cannabis Employers
In mg Magazine’s annual “America’s Top Cannabis Employers” issue, we recognize the companies on the cutting edge of opportunity. What qualifies employers for a spot on the list? Top-scoring entities in past years exhibited traits including open and communicative environments, flexible working hours, profit sharing, paid time off, team-building activities, work-life balance, health and wellness programs, and commitment to social and environmental causes. This year, companies also will be asked about diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives as well as steps they took to help employees weather an extraordinarily stressful time.
In order to be eligible, companies must have begun generating revenue no later than January 1, 2020, and still be operating. In addition, they must be based in the United States and employ a minimum of twenty people in full-time positions.
mg invites workers and bosses alike to share their perspective for this annual project by completing the submission form. Deadline for nominations is September 9, 2021.
There are no fees associated with nominations, final selections, or editorial coverage of any kind. Advertising is not required, nor will advertisers receive preferential treatment.
America’s Top Cannabis Employers will be recognized with a plaque and a brief profile in mg Magazine’s expanded December issue.
(Note: The awards were suspended in 2020 due to the pandemic’s effect on the job market.)