Reaching a Millennial Cannabis Workforce

Roughly defined as people born between 1981 and 1996, the millennial generation is now the largest age group in American history, and amounts to 35% of today’s workforce.

As cannabis businesses continue to adopt common workforce management practices, from defining company values to enforcing standard operating procedures, understanding millennial employees becomes a key differentiator in effective growth. This generation is challenging the way employers recruit and retain talent as well as how they communicate, engage and quite simply, work with people.

Critics of millennials say they are the most over-gratified generation, resulting in an unjustifiable sense of entitlement. A heavy reliance on technology and habit of updating every activity on social media leads older generations to feel generally disappointed in what they see as ​lack of self-sufficiency and hard work.

Despite strong opinions, this generation is rapidly dominating the workforce, especially in the cannabis industry. And, they bring innovative suggestions, creative insights and a wealth of knowledge in technology and medicine. From budtender to director level positions, marijuana millennials are seizing the opportunity to be part of a nascent industry while learning the intricacies of startup world.

The objective for cannabis operators is recognizing how to work with millennials. Understanding their motivations, being flexible and thinking of ways to leverage their high-speed energy are ways to attract and keep this generation.

Attract top millennial cannabis talent

76% of millennials surveyed prefer a career they are passionate about over another that is paying more. This generation wants to know that they are contributing to something that carries an impact. From giving back to the community, to advocating for social justice, to providing legal medicine to those in need, millennials want to make a difference.

Quickly communicate your big picture goals and internal values to job candidates on your website. Show how your company rallies together for volunteer events or donates to local charity on social media. Interview current millennial employees about their experience at your company or why they entered the marijuana industry to give better insight into the culture you’ve created.

Support a workforce accustomed to rapid change

Millennials are constantly looking for opportunities to learn and grow, so it’s important to define expectations early and develop a cadence to measure performance. Support development of both salaried and hourly employees with progress assessments and annual, or quarterly reviews.

Avoid turnover by providing competitive pay rates, offering health benefits, and working around your staff’s schedule. Creating a digital schedule that accommodates your budtender or trimmer’s personal life will allow employees to work with you when they’re at their best.

Enable employees to further their career development through certified training programs with leaders like Trichome Institute or CannabisTrainers. Or schedule internal events with product vendors so staff can gain sales knowledge, network with fellow industry members, and enjoy the perks of giveaways.

Encourage their out-of-the-box mindset

Millennials are excited to work on projects that may seem risky or extraordinary, so it’s important to listen to new ideas, which may greatly benefit the organization. This generation can bring competitive, thought-provoking cannabis concepts inspired by current events, cultural trends, or even social movements.

A leading skillset of the millennial generation is their training in and familiarity with a variety of technology platforms to drive new customers, project manage, crunch numbers or develop custom systems. This proves useful in managing internal processes and comes in handy when launching brand campaigns or thought leadership opportunities with fast timelines.

The future of cannabis is bright. Engaging the millennial workforce is a vital step in ensuring your continued success.

Extract: Cannabis sales hit $6.7B in 2016

Extract’s Emily Gray Brosious published her article about the cannabis industry’s massive year in 2016 and the uncertainty ahead. She connected with Keegan about job growth in the industry and quoted him several times at the beginning and ending of the article. 

“With well over 100,000 jobs in the industry as of last year, this number will continue to grow as markets continue to mature and expand,” said Keegan.

Read the entire article here.

Marijuana Media: FLSA Overtime Change

Marijuana Media shared the industry update Wurk provided to customers and prospects.


What you need to know about the Department of Labor’s proposed changes to the FLSA Overtime Rules. 


The new FLSA Overtime rules have been delayed by the election, and a challenge in court. A federal judge in Texas filed an injunction blocking the Department of Labor’s new federal overtime rule.


  • The new FLSA Overtime rule would have doubled the Fair Labor Standards Act’s salary threshold for exemption from overtime pay from $23,660 to $47,476.
  • The lawsuit filed by Judge Amos Mazzant of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas challenges the DOL’s authority to raise the salary threshold.
  • Businesses and employees are in a holding pattern for now.
  • This means that for now, the overtime rule will not take effect as planned on December 1st, so employers may continue to follow the existing overtime regulations. 
  • If you have already provided salary increases to employees to maintain their exempt status, it is recommended you leave your changes in place. This is key to note since the hold on the new FLSA Overtime Rules isn’t permanent.
  • The new FLSA Overtime rule could still be implemented later down the road as the preliminary injunction isn’t permanent.


If the new POTUS and Congress work together to limit the rule’s impact, the process could take many months (or even years) to implement. As an employer, you should not assume the overtime rule will be permanently barred. Make sure you have a plan in place to move forward if needed in the future.


Read the post here.

Dope Magazine: Election Party at SPARC

Wurk was a sponsor of Dope Magazine’s Election Party at SPARC.


“Tuesday, November 8th represented a monumental night for many issues, specifically on a state level within the cannabis space as well as across the nation with the presidential election operating in tandem. To ring in the results, DOPE Magazine produced its inaugural event within the Northern California region at dispensary Sparc SF. The evening’s presenters included the world’s cannabis information resource, Leafly, and was supported by sponsors Headset, Hypur, Lola Lola, Poseidon Asset Management, The Legion of Bloom and WURK, all progressive cannabis industry companies.” Read the entire post.

280E Limits

On August 10, 2016, the DEA officially rejected calls from the cannabis industry and lawmakers to “de-list” cannabis under the Controlled Substances Act. As such, the sale, cultivation, processing and business of Cannabis remains illegal under federal law and subject to Internal Revenue Code Section 280E. Section 280E limits cannabis business deductions to Cost of Goods Sold. Understanding what expenses qualify as Cost of Goods Sold (under Section 471 and perhaps 263A), managing and capturing these expenses, and properly reporting them can be the difference between a successful cannabis business and one that is defunct.


Nick RichardsAttorney, Adjunct Professor, and former IRS trial attorney, Nick Richards, will explain the impact of Section 280E on the cannabis industry and cannabis business owners. He will discuss actual cannabis business practices and methods to accurately capture the cost of goods sold for these practices. He will take questions from cannabis professionals and business owners regarding their own business practices and concerns with IRS Section 280E. And he will provide the attendees with an understand of Section 280E and some of the tools necessary to manage it in their day-to-day operations.


Register to hear Nick Richard’s present “280E Pitfalls: Tips to Avoid Them.” The webinar is Tues., Sept. 13, Noon MST. (Even if you can’t attend, register anyway to receive a link to the webinar replay.)

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