Excerpted from MGMagazine.com

Today’s cannabis employees have high expectations, and the best employers are delivering. Benefits that seemed delightfully surprising in 2018, when mg Magazine published the first list of the best employers in the industry, now are de rigueur. Health insurance is offered by 96 percent of the companies that submitted briefs this year, up almost 10 percent from last year. Eighty-two percent provide education benefits, including tuition assistance or reimbursement (up from 67 percent in 2021), and an equal number provide a retirement plan or 401(k) program (up from 68 percent in 2021), often with the employer matching workers’ contributions. Seventy-five percent offer stock options or equity in the business, a significant increase from the 47 percent of companies so disposed last year.

But becoming a truly inspirational workplace requires more than simply meeting expectations. Each year mg’s staff and a team of advisors pore over hundreds of company briefs, evaluating incentives, benefits, corporate culture, philanthropic initiatives, and reports from employees themselves. The results illustrate our industry is no slouch when it comes to ensuring workers are valued and protected.

A small but growing number of honorees provide stipends to fund technology, home-office furniture and equipment, or coworking space—which is much appreciated by the teams at the 84 percent of companies that offer a work-from-home option (up from 68 percent in 2021). Those who must work on-site can take comfort in bringing their furry family members with them, because 70 percent of the companies we reviewed this year welcome pets in the workplace (up from 40 percent last year). A handful include pet insurance in their benefits packages.

Two honorees offer an exceptionally generous perk to long-term employees: a paid sabbatical of up to seven weeks. Perhaps the most striking benefits are related to culture-war clashes: Three honorees established funds to reimburse employees who must travel to obtain reproductive health care, and another provides assistance with adoption (which can prove challenging for marginalized groups).

Employers continue to place a healthy focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), with many expanding their efforts to recognize and combat racial and cultural bias within and outside their organizations. Well-defined, measurable DEI policies that include sensitivity training and community outreach have become a hallmark of the industry. A handful of companies have launched incubators to provide meaningful economic opportunities for underrepresented groups. Others operate programs to hire, train, and provide career paths for formerly incarcerated individuals and/or people from communities most impacted by the war on drugs.

In fact, the broad categories of justice reform and inclusion also encompass the majority of philanthropic efforts within the industry: 39 percent of companies that submitted briefs this year reported providing financial support for justice-reform efforts, and 26 percent reported providing support for organizations promoting diversity and inclusion. Close behind was support for environmental groups and projects (25 percent), hunger abatement (21 percent), and poverty relief (19 percent).

SōRSE Technology

Sectors: Product Manufacturing

HQ: Seattle

Founded: 2016

Public/private: Private

Employees: 30–49

Good pay, generous benefits, and opportunities for advancement are among workers’ favorite perks at SōRSE Technology. The company provides free lunches and happy hours once a week, hosts team-building exercises like hiking excursions for employees and their companions, and offers unlimited paid time off with no vacation blackout dates. A strong, formalized DEI policy and support for Seattle Pride and the research institute and blood bank Bloodworks Northwest demonstrate a commitment to equity and CSR within and outside the company.

Read the full list at MGMagazine.com HERE.