Business

CannaStaff wants to make a business out of staffing marijuana businesses

As the medical marijuana-industry settles into respectability, businesses are in need of professional, well-trained staffers -- but many business owners are so busy navigating the rapidly changing regulatory landscape that they don't have time to scout out top-notch workers. That's where Denver-based CannaStaff, reportedly the first marijuana staffing company, comes in.

"Industry workers expect to be paid on time, have taxes withheld, be covered by unemployment and worker's comp insurance, and have access to job-sponsored health care," says Neil Demers, CannaStaff's director of operations. "The best part is business owners support this move. They want to be compliant with all human resource laws and offer the benefits their employees desire, but many are too busy with state and local business regulations, their internal business plans, or simply lack expertise in this area."

Demers thinks CannaStaff has the expertise that marijuana businesses need. It's already placed employees at marijuana centers across the state, it reports, and was advertising its services at KushCon II this weekend.

But questions about this new venture remain. What training, exactly, do marijuana business employees need? Most MMJ jobs don't require special certification or licensure, but are a hybrid of medical assistant, pharmacist, gardener, shop clerk and, of course, marijuana aficionado. Is it really possible to prepare for such a job, or do successful candidates just hit the ground running?

Either way, CannaStaff expects to find its staffing services in high demand -- which means that other new, employee-based developments are no doubt just around the corner. How long, for example, until we see the first-ever marijuana workers union?

Read more about the marijuana business in our Marijuana archives.

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Joel Warner is a former staff writer for Westword and International Business Times. He's also written for WIRED, Men's Journal, Men's Health, Bloomberg Businessweek, Popular Science, Slate, Grantland and many other publications. He's co-author of the 2014 book The Humor Code: A Global Search for What Makes Things Funny, published by Simon & Schuster.
Contact: Joel Warner