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5 Ways To Reverse The Toxic Workplace Culture Of Cannabis

Workplace safety concerns, unwarranted dismissals, and lack of training are hurting the industry. Here's how to fix it.

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Something is broken in cannabis—and no, it isn’t just the usual din of the media highlighting pain points like the fallout from the black market and vape epidemic, or the wild valuation and stock price instability. Of course, there are still problems aplenty within all those areas of the industry, but there’s another aspect to cannabis that I believe is in much worse shape. 

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Toxic workplace cultures.  

Across the industry, there are serious workplace safety concerns and harassment, unjust firings and layoffs, and a lack of any training or career development. Whether this is happening within a large company or small dispensary, I’ve heard so many horror stories it would make your head spin.

This seriously needs to change.

Leaders in cannabis should start putting time into mastering workplace culture, rather than destroying it. From executives to assistants, every single team member needs to be properly guided and nurtured.

Related: Cannabis Culture Is Fast Becoming Corporate Culture

1. Create a vetting process

Employee retention is all about ensuring each staffer is happily working hard and contributing. How can companies make sure they’re successful at hiring good people and making sure they stick around? Have a strong hiring process, which has enough vetting steps and isn’t rushed.

It’s important for candidates to talk to multiple people on the team, go through a few different tests, and take a special profile to make sure they fit in with the culture. In essence, companies need to take their time and only hire people they feel strongly about.

2. Show each employee what success looks like

Every employee must understand the impact of their role, and this starts by outlining what success looks like, what failure looks like, and how they can best contribute to the company. That way, what’s being asked of them is very clear from the start.

3. Integrate new hires 

I go to great lengths to integrate new people into my own company’s culture. This includes one-on-ones with everyone in the company (yes everyone), paying people to become certified, special acknowledgments during all team meetings, and more.

When it comes to amalgamating new hires, companies need to take every step possible to guarantee every person feels like they're part of the organization right off the bat.

4. Hire people with shared values

Using values in decision making will ensure the people hired already live by how the company operates. This means the people brought in naturally feel like they’ve found their home because it’s how they are organically.

5. Stop making the same mistakes

If you want to fix cannabis' toxic culture, you need to break the cycle. These are the common workplace practicies we should all avoid.

  • Stop treating your people like disposable assets.
  • Stop prioritizing growth over culture.
  •  Stop taking advantage of good people who really care.

The new culture of cannabis starts today.