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Temp Workers Benefit Cannabis Businesses and the Economy

Image: LeoWolfert /

The growth and resilience of the United States cannabis industry proved to be an economic bright spot in 2020. In a setting where more than 30 million Americans filed for unemployment, cannabis businesses filled tens of thousands of positions. In particular, temporary workers were in high demand as an affordable, readily available solution for businesses adjusting to new regulations or dealing with health-related absences.

The coronavirus pandemic is affecting cannabis businesses of all sizes, from small startups to industry-leading multistate operators. Business structures are being reworked as employees are working from home, and many companies are reevaluating budgets and tightening revenue opportunities. In the uncertainty of facing a crisis with no end date, pivoting to utilizing temporary employees may be just what your business needs to do to survive.

With numerous companies in the cannabis space deemed “essential” during mandated shutdowns, many businesses remained operational with certain roles that cannot be performed remotely. The use of temporary staff has allowed businesses to supplement staffing needs and continue operations uninterrupted.

Pandemic or not, temporary workers are an excellent solution for cannabis companies looking for seasonal workers, dealing with short-term special projects, or looking to cover employees on medical or family leave. Adaptability and the ability to make quick adjustments are crucial to success in the cannabis space, and temporary employees can help you do just that as the industry continues to face changes brought on by the crisis.

Short-term hires can help your business thrive in a variety of ways:

Temporary positions not only provide employers with flexibility, but also give employees the opportunity to diversify and gain in-depth experience in a variety of sectors within the industry.

During the third quarter of 2020, the top temp positions included:

Cannabis sales are skyrocketing as many consumers turn to cannabis and CBD products to cope with the pandemic. New Frontier Data projects total cannabis sales will reach $19 billion in 2020, up from $13.2 billion in 2019. In turn, retail positions and positions involved in the production process have been a necessity to meet growing demand.

Even after we make it through these turbulent times (which we will!), the temporary staffing trend is one that’s likely to continue. According to the American Staffing Association, U.S. staffing agencies hire 15 million temporary and contract employees a year — almost 10 percent of the entire American workforce. During past economic downturns, temporary jobs were highly desirable as the economy began its recovery and the job market began to expand. Companies need to fill the gaps created by widespread layoffs, and temporary employees are a quick and affordable way to do so.

For as long as COVID-19 continues to wreak havoc on lives and the economy, the demand for temp employees likely will hold steady. Cannabis companies will need flexible options to make it through future waves. We can’t know what to expect when the dust settles, but it is clear resilience and adaptability have been vital qualities of businesses continuing to find success during the pandemic. The affordability, availability, and flexibility of temporary cannabis employees has helped many companies reach higher ground.

By Liesl Bernard

Originally published at on January 19th, 2021.



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mg Magazine

mg is a monthly business magazine covering the recreational and medical cannabis business, meeting growing demand for business news and information.