Marijuana cultivators are finding new ways to manage labor to meet the challenges caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
Others have avoided furloughing the cultivation crew or reducing hours by shifting work schedules.
Growers report they have altered protocol for employees to keep them safe and to maintain workflow.
A few of those adjustments include:
- Staggering shifts into the evenings and on weekends so workers have more space to themselves.
- Using digital solutions to prevent in-person contact.
- Retaining and paying well those employees who are the most versatile to help out with multiple facets of the operation.
- Communicating that employee health is a priority.
Leaning on tech
While work hours are mostly the same, “weekly team meetings and daily meetings have turned into digital check-ins,” Walker said.
When making deliveries, workers wear personal protective equipment and don’t count cash on-site to avoid possible exposure.
Jacks of all trades
He also recommends that a business operator should express how valuable those workers are to the company.
“Not everyone can tell the difference between thrips and spider mites,” he added.
When it comes to payroll, the conversation can be a little tricky, according to Ferrian.
Workers are aware that they could be putting themselves at risk just by showing up.
He recommends basing wages on how the wholesale marijuana flower market is performing in your state.
When the pandemic first began, her operation was finishing up the trimming part of the process. She required the trimmers to sit 6 feet apart and didn’t let them move into other parts of the facility.
Chalice Farms has also since discontinued facility tours, which were open to the public.