Employers: Will the expansion of the legal cannabis market affect your ability to recruit local talent.
We are located in Colorado, a very mature legal cannabis market. Since the state voted to legalize cannabis for medical use in 2000, we've grown revenue and our population significantly. The demand for Cannabis is extremely high, driving many people to chase opportunity in the Cannabis Industry. Entrepreneurs started dispensaries, edible brands, and most recently a bunch of concentrates.
Many companies in our area are completely integrated vertical markets. We have a great relationship with a dispensary in Pueblo, CO. Their building houses a grow operation, a thriving extracts business, a recreational dispensary, and a medical dispensary. All of this is done onsite and requires a lot of people. Their need for human capital is very high, but they haven't had any trouble filling their roles. They consistently get 60-80 resumes per week. Many of their applicants are career changers between 35-55 years old. These individuals are passionate about cannabis and want their lifestyle and occupation to align.
For an established market like ours, we worry about the talent drain that is likely to occur as legalization expands. For example, Missouri recently passed Amendment 2 legalizing medical Cannabis. Dispensaries are in the process of getting licensed and ready to go. One problem, where do you find an experienced dispensary manager, Head growers, Head of extraction, etc... You recruit them from established and mature markets.
How will this affect your business? Do you need to focus on employee retention? Are you going to have to increase your compensation package to make your opportunity attractive? I'd love to hear your thoughts.