In 1974, Congress enacted the first tax measure designed to encourage employee stock ownership plans or ESOPs. Today, 32 million Americans own employer stock through ESOPs, options, stock purchase plans, and 401(k) plans. Research has shown that not only do workers at employee-owned (or partially-owned) companies fare better but the companies as a whole fare better as well. On average, employees who are given the power of ownership earn more, have access to a wider array of benefits, and have better job stability than their peers. Additionally, these companies generate 2.5 percent more jobs each year than their competitors.

According to the findings from ForceBrands’ 2019 Cannabis Talent Market Report, many cannabis companies are taking this employee-owned approach to attract and retain quality talent. Along with the traditional 401(k) and life insurance benefits, companies are offering stock options, equity, and profit sharing, proving the power of the ownership mentality, which may be a major contributor to the massive market growth we’ve seen over the last several years. The statistics find that 32 percent of cannabis companies currently offer stock options to their employees. Another 23 percent of companies offer their employees equity, and finally, 17 percent of companies engage in profit sharing with their employees.

This draw of partial-ownership can have the potential to lure some employees away from more established and secure CPG industries. As a new and growing field, cannabis companies have had to be inventive in their offerings in order to ensure that they’re attracting top talent and fueling their workforce for extensive growth. Offering these types of bonuses is a surefire way to do this, especially as 34 percent of employees report that this would be their desired alternative from a company who isn’t able to meet their salary expectations.

For more insights like this one, you can download the full Cannabis Talent Market Report, which surveyed hundreds of industry leaders at the Director, President/VP/SVP, and C-Suite level here.