Some Cannabis Industry Employees do not receive regular benefits due to it being federally illegal. It is up to each individual business to decide. With that said, being a part of a booming industry while being paid competitively can definitely make up for it
Federal labor laws don’t apply to cannabis businesses that operate at the state level (1). That means employees may not necessarily get the types of benefits and protections that employees in other industries may get. In addition, the businesses can operate without providing things like health care, policies against discrimination and harassment in the workplace, and workers compensation (2). All because their employers aren’t legally obligated to do so.
Despite this, good businesses do give their employees benefits. They receive insurance, pay taxes, and adhere to all business regulations. Whether or not the industry is cannabis, a business is a business.
The very existence of cannabis businesses can be viewed as legally questionable due to the federal status. Many financial service providers are often hesitant to do business with such companies because they are federally-regulated. That’s why such businesses often have trouble doing things that would otherwise seem simple and trivial, such as opening a bank account.
Because of this, some cannabis employers typically have a tough time getting 401(k)s for their employees. They may even find it tough to get a willing payroll and benefits provider to work for such companies. However, it can be argued that for employers who have bank accounts and pay their workers with checks (and not in cash), setting up a 401(k) plan should be relatively straightforward. The contributions to the 401(k) may then be remitted from the same bank account.
That said, these drawbacks don’t necessarily pose a deterrent for those who may be interested in a career in the cannabis industry. Many people are excited to be involved in what is already a booming industry and one that is expected to continue to grow exponentially. For example, cannabis workers are typically paid pretty decently. While wages may have been someone marginal in the early days of cannabis startups, cannabis employees can make as much as $60,000 or more per year as they climb the rankings (3).
Despite certain hiccups in the cannabis workplace, such creases should be ironed out in time. In the meantime, employees in the cannabis industry have plenty of opportunities, both in entry-level opportunities as well as high-paying management positions.
- Koenig, R. (2018, July 2). How to Break Into the Weed Industry: Everything You Need to Know. Retrieved from
- Berr, J. (2015, April 230). Is the marijuana business right for you? Retrieved from
- Bortz, D. Legal marijuana industry jobs can grow your career. Retrieved from