Compensation and Equity

Cannabis Industry Thrives: Workforce Expansion and Salary Hikes Expected in 2024

Cannabis Industry to Expand Workforce and Salaries in 2024

Cannabis Industry to Expand Workforce and Salaries in 2024

In an encouraging development for the cannabis industry, a recent survey by Vangst, a leading cannabis staffing and recruitment agency, reveals that 86% of cannabis companies plan to hire new employees in 2024. This announcement points to a recovery trend that comes after two challenging years for the industry. Companies are optimistic about growth and are making efforts to expand their workforce accordingly.

Significant Salary Increases

Vangst’s survey also highlights notable pay increases for high-value employees within the industry. Top-end salaries have risen by 4.7%, showcasing the sector’s commitment to retaining and rewarding top talent. Non-executive salaries are likewise seeing a rise, averaging a 4.1% increase, which indicates a positive outlook for the broader workforce.

Executives, in particular, are experiencing substantial salary gains. Chief executive officers (CEOs) at the largest cannabis companies by revenue have surpassed the $400,000 base salary milestone, now earning annual salaries that exceed $416,000. The top five highest-paid positions in the cannabis industry include the CEO, Chief Financial Officer, President, Chief Revenue Officer, and Chief Marketing Officer, with salaries ranging from $338,195 to $416,240.

Trends in Employee Benefits and Compensation Disparities

The survey sheds light on the growing importance of employee benefits in the cannabis sector. According to the findings, two out of three employees would consider leaving their current job for another with better benefits, yet only one in five employees claims to be very satisfied with their current benefits package. This indicates an area where cannabis companies might need to focus more in order to retain talent.

Interestingly, while executive salaries are soaring, a significant pay gap persists within the industry. The average pay of a cannabis CEO in 2023 is reported to be $402,350, while budtenders—who are crucial point-of-sale employees—earn an average of $42,000 annually. This disparity underscores ongoing challenges in achieving pay equity across various roles within the industry.

Despite these positive trends, the cannabis industry continues to face multiple challenges. High interest rates, inflation, and the lack of major reforms to federal laws governing cannabis significantly affect stock prices and CEO compensation. As the industry navigates these issues, addressing both financial stability and employee satisfaction will be critical to sustaining growth and success in the coming years.

James Rutherford

James Rutherford, MBA, is a renowned expert in executive compensation within the cannabis industry. With over fifteen years of experience in corporate finance and human resources, James has become a leading voice in the intersection of executive pay and emerging markets. He earned his MBA from Stanford Graduate School of Business, where he focused on strategic management and organizational behavior. James has held senior positions in several Fortune 500 companies before transitioning to the cannabis sector, where he identified a critical need for specialized knowledge in executive compensation. He currently serves as a consultant for numerous cannabis companies, helping them design competitive and compliant compensation packages that attract top talent while aligning with industry regulations. In addition to his consultancy work, James frequently writes for industry publications and is a sought-after speaker at conferences and seminars. His insights have been instrumental in shaping compensation strategies that support the growth and sustainability of cannabis businesses.