By Chris Casacchia
Marijuana companies in California are struggling to recruit and retain quality workers, from consumer-facing budtenders and delivery drivers to operations specialists and packagers.
The hiring challenges reflect mainstream retail woes and the revolutionary shift underway in the labor market fueled by the COVID-19 pandemic, a push for remote work and flexibility and the “Great Resignation” in which employees are voluntarily quitting their jobs in droves.
It’s a scenario that’s no doubt occurring in other state-legal cannabis markets across the country beyond California.
“In cannabis retail in the last six or seven months, I’ve never seen this kind of turnover,” said Jerred Kiloh, owner of Los Angeles cannabis shop The Higher Path.
“Some people are a little disenchanted about what the future of California cannabisreally looks like.”
Kiloh, who launched the dispensary eight years ago in Sherman Oaks, said he can’t afford to pay “huge salaries” while his store struggles to compete against a thriving illicit market, where eighths of flower sell for as little as $15.
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