The company’s new minimum wage is nearly twice the federal minimum wage ($7.25) and 30-percent higher than the minimum wage in its home state of Oregon ($10.75). In addition to Oregon, Cura currently provides cannabis and hemp oils to consumers in Nevada, California and Arizona, and has more than 500 employees. The wage increase will immediately affect approximately 65 of these team members.
According to CEO Cameron Forni, the most important investment a business can make is into its people. “We’re very, very proud to have been one of the first cannabis companies to ever offer health insurance coverage for medical, dental, vision [and] prescription,” he told Cannabis Business Times. “We understand … that people are what make our company great. … You’ll always see us investing in our people and trying to elevate the bar in the cannabis space for hiring and recruiting.”
Making this investment will set Cura up for long-term success, Forni added, by decreasing the employee turnover rate and ensuring employee retention.
“We know that people make or break a company, and we’ll continue to invest in our people,” he said.
Cura has a rigorous hiring process, according to Forni, and has around 90 job applications currently open. “That never really stops,” he said. “We’re constantly recruiting, constantly trying to find the best people to get on the bus, and always making sure we’re moving everyone around into the best positions on the bus, as well.”
The company’s recruiting team, HR department and employee referrals work together to recruit the best-suited employees for the job, Forni said. “We’ve had some amazing luck with going through our referrals.”
Cura’s core values include a strong work ethic and positive attitude, he added, and the company urges its team members to be “super stars.”
“Hiring and mentoring super stars is very critical,” Forni said. “If you want to be a manager or a leader in our company, you have to be able to hire someone, teach them to do what you do, and replace yourself and move up to the next level. So, it makes training much more efficient when we have hundreds of people helping and training and coaching people.”
Looking ahead, the company recently launched into the Arizona market and has roughly 26 employees stationed there—a workforce that Cura hopes to double very quickly, Forni said. The company is also looking at entering the Oklahoma and Michigan markets, and will continue searching for top talent in its hiring process as it navigates each state’s regulations.
“There are several different landscapes that you have to look at in any company, but again, if you’re picking the right people, those people are the ones solving the problems,” Forni said. “So, just by hiring the best managers and directors possible, it really helps you be able to solve this Rubik’s cube that is ever-changing cannabis legislation and regulation. Again, it’s all very people-focused.”
Hiring the right people will also help Cura raise the employment standards across the industry as it continues to grow, Forni added. “If we continue to raise the bar in the cannabis space and continue to treat our employees as well as we do, then we’re going to continue to attract top talent in the space."
Top photo courtesy of Cura Cannabis Solutions