How Using Temporary Cannabis Workers Can Help You Scale Up

temporary cannabis jobs
Illustration: Viktoria-Kurpas / Shutterstock

Utilizing on-demand, temporary talent is one of the most efficient ways for companies to scale their businesses quickly and keep up with the demands of a fast-paced industry. Temp cannabis workers can provide support to growing businesses, allowing companies to save on costs by hiring according to seasonal or other needs.

In 2021, we saw more companies than ever turn to consultants and talent-on-demand services to find quality candidates for short-term projects or fill in gaps created by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. While plant-touching temporary positions are currently the highest in demand, all verticals of the industry host a variety of attractive roles.  


The benefits of hiring temporary workers include:

  • Availability: Temporary workers are available right away, as opposed to the average of more than forty days typically required to find full-time employees. Temps easily can fill in for employees on sick, medical, or any other leave of absence.
  • Affordability: Hiring full-time employees is costly and time-consuming. Temporary workers provide specialized skills and experience without the lengthy search and onboarding processes.
  • Flexibility: Most temporary hires have flexible contracts, allowing the company to decide how long they’ll work, whether that’s a few days or a few months (or longer).
  • Creativity: Access to new skills and a fresh perspective can help a company find solutions or pivot when faced with new challenges or unforeseen obstacles.
  • Assessment: Hiring a temp allows a business to determine whether a candidate is a good fit before bringing them on long-term. If you’re on the fence, this can save you time and money in the long run by allowing you to evaluate the employee before making a commitment.

Types of temp cannabis workers

Temporary positions that can help a cannabis company grow include:

HR generalist: Human resources (HR) generalists, also called HR admins, can play a significant role in implementing a staffing and human resources strategy. In today’s competitive marketplace, companies that focus on essential human resources best practices to foster an efficient environment and retain valuable employees will find the most success. This position can help manage functions like recruiting, onboarding, compliance, resolving employee relations issues, and implementing other HR policies.

Accounts payable specialist: The financial side of business is critical to success, especially in a developing industry like cannabis. An accounts payable specialist will oversee tasks like processing invoices, verifying financial data for accuracy, managing payment obligations, and ensuring compliance with generally accepted accounting principles. Temporary accounts payable specialists can be especially helpful during times of transition like mergers and acquisitions.

Farm laborer or cultivation associate: Plant-touching roles are in high demand as legalization continues to spread and companies scale to meet growing demand. Farm laborers focus on intensive work like transferring pots and working with soil, while cultivation associates are responsible for maintaining plant health. With both of these positions, you’ll want to look for candidates with sharp attention to detail and a can-do attitude.

Post-harvest technician: The post-harvest team is responsible for the physical plant harvest and the quality control and packaging of the final product. Members of this important team ensure products are up to company and brand standards. Both cultivation and post-harvest temporary staff can be extremely beneficial during spikes like harvest season. 

Packaging technician: An efficient packaging line plays an important role in whether or not your company can prepare and ship orders on time. Packaging technicians conduct all product assembly, packaging, and labeling and must follow all company policies and procedures to comply with brand standards and reduce the chance of accidents. 

Warehouse staff: Warehouse employees are frontline quality control. They fulfill orders, place stickers on packages, and move packages through the shipping process. There’s room for entry-level to manager-level roles in the warehouse realm, which makes this a great outlet for temporary employees.

Temporary staffing as a strategy was in place long before the emergence of the legal cannabis market, and it’s undoubtedly here to stay. Business leaders regularly rely on talent-on-demand services to fill staffing needs as a result of special projects, full-time staff out on medical or family leave, or company expansion. On-demand talent certainly can be beneficial for the entry-level segment, but many growing companies also supplement their executive leadership team when outside perspective or high-level advice is needed. Choosing a firm to assist with backend hiring work like background checks, administrative costs, and payroll allows your executive team to focus on day-to-day operations and big-picture goals. 


Liesl Bernard is founder and CEO at CannabizTeam, an executive search and staffing firm focused specifically on the cannabis industry. Her team has placed thousands of candidates at executive and management levels in all verticals of the cannabis industry worldwide. She attributes her success in cannabis to her vast international recruitment experience and deep passion for the industry.