Labor shortage hits California’s cannabis industry hard

America's labor shortage has caused store closures, delays, and disruptions in the global supply chain. As it turns out, the cannabis industry is not immune. Marijuana companies in California say they’re struggling to hire and retain workers. And not all of them are capable of offering big incentive packages to mitigate the problem.

“I’ve been hiring people 20-something years and it’s never been this difficult. It’s certainly never been this difficult in cannabis,” 4Front vice president of California operations, Josh Krane, told Marijuana Business Daily.

4Front Ventures has increased wages but not all companies are in a position to do that. Jerred Kiloh, who owns The Higher Path, says he is already struggling to compete against the black market and can’t afford to pay his workers “huge salaries.”

One Ventura County company, Tradecraft, is offering commissions to its budtenders.

The shortage of drivers has hit the delivery business especially hard. That same driver shortage is affecting rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft.

Like all industries, the cannabis sector should prepare for a long haul. Thanks to shifting demographics and other permanent changes in the workforce, some experts expect labor shortages to last for years.