Top 15 Cannabis Employers 2020

mg magazine's second annual Top Employers report recognizes exceptional workplaces and the people behind them. Each year, hundreds of nominations are painstakingly reviewed in a long and rigorous process to select the best and brightest that the cannabis industry must offer. To qualify, companies must have been involved in the industry for at least one year, be based in the U.S. or have a U.S. division headquarters, and employ at least 10 full-time employees. Finalists were selected based on a variety of factors, including employee satisfaction, benefits and perks, company culture, social responsibility and charitable giving.

This year's competition was an evenly matched one, with the finalists possessing a number of exceptional characteristics. Winners spanned all aspects of the industry, with 32% of their primary business being growing and horticulture, 30% product manufacturing, 14% technology, 8% science and lab, 6% media, 2% retail, and the remaining 8% in ancillary services and other categories. The range of lifespan of the finalists has increased significantly over 2018 as experienced, mainstream players enter the market; one company was founded in 1943. Equally noteworthy and indicative of the industry's maturity are the companies: 24% of the winners are publicly traded, and many offer stock options in their benefits packages.
Since its inception, the cannabis industry has had plenty of success and considerable conflict, but perhaps the most challenging obstacle it faces to date is the epidemic of lung injury (EVALI) associated with e-cigarette or e-cigarette product use that began to spread in the summer of 2019. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention immediately reacted with extraordinary recklessness, warning the public that e-cigarette smoking can be dangerous and that all e-cigarette devices should be avoided, regardless of their source. The action had a devastating financial impact on the entire industry, leading to massive layoffs. Several companies initially qualified for this year's list, but were disqualified due to the unforeseen consequences of the EVALI outbreak.

The following 50 companies represent the best cannabis employers. They understand that our industry must rise to meet the demands of mainstream corporate culture while maintaining the spirit, goodwill and compassion found in America's cannabis heritage.

Careddi Technology Co.,Ltd. (Careddi: shop here) Working with the experts and scholars from famous universities and Institutes in China for more than 30 years, now Careddi Supercritical has achieved great progress in Supercritical CO2 Extractor field, able to make Careddi Supercritical CO2 Extraction products from small scale for material testing to the large scale for commercial mass production. The sales of Careddi Supercritical CO2 Extraction machine in Chinese market is over than 90%. Most of Chinese research institutions, universities, food health processing plant are using our Careddi Supercritical CO2 Extraction machines. And we had exported Careddi Supercritical CO2 system to over than 30 countries such as USA, Canada, Netherland,Spain, UK, South Korea, India, Argentina etc. The supercritical CO2 extraction machine has the authentication of ISO9001:2008 International Quality Management System and CE certification and could be used for extraction of cannabis or hemp, pepper, sea buckthorn seeds, ganoderma lucidum spore, arteannuin, bergamot, ageratum, common andrographis herb, houttuynia cordata, tobaco, eaglewood, etc with superior purity.

To them, we salute them.

4Front Ventures
Headquarters: Phoenix
Founded: 2011
Employees: 100+
Job Openings: 20+
Paid Education: Yes

Attracting and retaining talent is a top priority for this publicly traded company, "starting with paying [its] employees a living wage." Regular checks are conducted to ensure that salaries are on par with "similar positions in other industries. In addition to fair pay, the company pays 100 percent of employees' health and life insurance premiums, offers paid training, provides 50 percent discounts on products in its retail stores, and encourages career development.

Advanced Nutrients
Headquarters: Los Angeles
Founded: 1999
Employees: 100+
Job Openings: 11-20
Paid Education: Yes

In addition to medical and dental insurance and a 401(k) retirement plan, Advanced Nutrients offers catering services, daily unlimited coffee and snack service, ergonomic workstations, subsidized gym memberships, team outings, special rewards programs and complimentary products. The company is developing a program to teach team members how to grow and cultivate their own cannabis. Its Human Heroes Initiative provides hundreds of thousands of dollars in assistance to the homeless in and around Los Angeles each year.

Arcana (formerly MJ Highways)
Headquarters: Denver
Founded: 2010
Employees: 100+
Job Openings: 6-10
Paid Education: None

Publicly traded Akerna pays 100% of employees' medical, dental and vision insurance, plus offers more than 15 days of vacation per year and flexible schedules to encourage work/life balance. Initiatives aimed at empowering women in the workplace have had a significant impact on the collaborative corporate culture. the One Woman Challenge was launched both within and outside the industry to encourage mentoring for women, and the company's top management team has invested significant time in this effort.

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Anresco Labs
Headquarters: San Francisco
Founded: 1943
Employees: 51-100
Job Openings: 1-5
Paid Education: Yes

Family owned and operated since its inception in 1943, Anresco expanded its services to include cannabis in 2017. Lifetime benefits such as one-year retention bonuses, semi-annual performance reviews and bonuses, and increased paid time off based on years of service, and loyalty are key - especially because the company "promotes almost entirely from within." Employees receive a 100% covered Kaiser health plan, dental and vision reimbursement, daily breakfast and snacks, monthly lunches, and nine paid holidays per year.

Apeks Supercritical
Headquarters: Johnstown, Ohio
Year Established: 2001
Number of Employees: 26-50
Job Openings: 1-5
Paid Education: Yes

A transparent atmosphere "helps foster a sense of commitment and camaraderie throughout the company," and monthly employee meetings keep everyone informed about financials, company status, future plans and product innovations. The company hosts an annual giveaway for the American Legion and supports local charities and animal rescue organizations. Awards are given to employees nominated by their peers for "going above and beyond their job description.

Baked Brothers
Headquarters: Phoenix
Founded: 2014
Employees: 26-50
Job Openings: 6-10
Paid Education: Yes

Employees tout the company's culture of personal advancement and professional development, "the founder [who] is truly passionate about the community," and the company-wide drive to "change the negative stigma around cannabis. Each month, the team creates sandwiches and personal hygiene kits for Change Society's #LunchBag program and distributes them to those in need. Benefits such as team dinners, group events, concert tickets and product discounts, along with paid training and self-help workshops, have increased employee satisfaction.