The cannabis industry is showing impressive growth strides. In 2018 alone, sales of legal cannabis in the U.S. amounted to nearly $10 billion, according to FitSmallBusiness. The market is expected to continue growing at 21 percent per year and is anticipated to generate almost $23 billion by 2021. But even amid rapid growth, there remains a stigma associated with cannabis that can make it difficult for new employers to attract and retain top talent.

When competing for talent with other more established sectors of the CPG industry, cannabis has to get creative and generous with the kinds of employee benefits it offers. Read on to learn how cannabis benefits compare to those of food, beauty, wine and spirits, and beer verticals.

According to ForceBrands’ Talent Market Report 2019, the budding cannabis industry offers its employees the most time for leave, which creates ideal conditions for a work-life balance. Cannabis also offers the longest paid maternity (12.5 weeks), paternity (10.7 weeks), and family (10 weeks) leaves — an average of five weeks longer than paid leaves of other CPG verticals offer.

As the industry expands and acquires new markets due to new legislation, it is also more lenient when it comes to allowing raises and granting salary increase requests. Cannabis has the highest annual raise percentage (14 percent), with beer and beauty taking second place (12 percent).

Financial incentives like raises are not the only rewards cannabis offers; the industry cares about its employees’ long-term stability, too. More than 47 percent of companies in cannabis offer 401(k) programs, which is at least 7 percent higher than other verticals.

Talent Market Report

Another benefit that is at the top of the chart in cannabis (likewise in beer) is stock options (32 percent). It is safe to assume that employees who own shares of the company they work for are more invested and interested in its success. The power of the ‘ownership mentality’ is particularly relevant in cannabis where companies are young and have enough shares to let their employees get involved.

“It’s crucial that each person we bring on has ownership in the company and feels as if they’re a key decision maker. They must feel like a mover and shaker themselves,” Gabe Kennedy and Hudson Gaines-Ross, the founders of CBD-brand Plant People, said in an exclusive interview with ForceBrands.

Interested in working for this rapidly evolving industry? Check out various opportunities on our HerbForce job board.

Download our Talent Market CPG Report 2019 here and our cannabis-specific Talent Market Report here.