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Enhance Organizational Innovation with Cannabis Benefits

January 13, 2021

In a budding and highly-competitive industry, cannabis companies need to consistently generate unique products and services in order to stand out. In fact, MIT Sloan found that business profit and innovation are actually correlated. And yet, fostering the sort of company culture that generates innovative ideas—and profit—is a complex, and often elusive process, even in the most established of industries. So, how can cannabis companies approach the topic of innovation?

It’s clear that cannabis employees who are taken care of by their company are more engaged, loyal and innovative because so few cannabis organizations show that they value their workers, as Danielle Schumacher, co-founder and CEO of THC Staffing Group, reports. Likewise, companies such as Tilray that show their workforce appreciation by partnering with Leading Retirement Solutions to offer 401(k)s and other benefits, have made the news for being highly innovative and profitable.

Therefore, investment in employee benefits, including a company sponsored 401(k), inspires long-term innovation and success—particularly in an industry where benefit packages are not the norm. In the cannabis industry, more so than in others, benefits are not only bold, but essential to enhancing employee engagement and retention.

A Cannabis 401(k) Will Make You an Industry Pioneer


Due to the complex rules and regulations surrounding the cannabis industry, many of the biggest financial institutions steer clear of doing business with cannabis companies.

“Leading Retirement Solutions is pioneering in the cannabis space and delivering retirement plan solutions to companies and employees where such legitimate solutions have been non-existent in the recent past,” said Jewell Lim Esposito, legal editor at CannabizCentral. “Service providers are hesitant about working with a company where cannabis is illegal under the federal Controlled Substances Act, notwithstanding that the federal laws of the Internal Revenue Code and ERISA permit employee benefit plans for cannabis employers and employees.”

Hence, offering cannabis 401(k)s and health plans is perfectly legal, and taking advantage of a cannabis retirement plan will distinguish your cannabis company from the rest of the pack—especially when it comes to defining your brand and company culture as innovative. Our unparalleled cannabis 401(k) offers the amenities of a normal retirement plan with the flexibility and ingenuity to suit a budding industry with ever-changing regulations. Leading Retirement Solutions uses our own proprietary technology to ensure secure transfer of information, non-traditional and adaptable plan types, and to allow for the use of digital assets including Bitcoin.

“While the industry is huge in both market size and worth, it’s still very new,” writes Force Brands.  “Those who work in the field are shaping it from the ground up — writing rules, establishing practices, and making decisions that will define the future of the industry.”

By doing something the rest of the industry thinks can’t be done, your cannabis company will become an industry leader and inspire your employees to think big, too.  After all, innovative organizations are formed from the top down. “Innovation starts with the leadership qualities of the founder or CEO,” reports Entrepreneur. “Leaders have to be bold thinkers and from the top-down or across the board, they play a primary role in fostering innovative organizations.”

Cannabis Benefits Enhance Employee Engagement


When it comes to realizing your long-term creative and economic potential as a cannabis company, your employees’ engagement—or the degree to which your employee is invested in their own work and in company goals—is also key. Offering cutting edge benefit packages that display your company’s investment in your workforce and that communicate organizational values of accountability and fairness—create more incentive for employees to invest their time and creative energy into your organization.

“Employees who feel their employer is invested in them are more likely to be engaged in their workplace and stay with the company longer,” reports Workforce. This engagement, in turn, boosts your employee’s motivation to innovate.

“Our own data indicates that engagement is highly correlated with innovation behaviors at all types of organizations,” reports Culture Amp. “This encompasses having a culture that encourages its employees to innovate, even though success is not guaranteed. Engagement has an even stronger impact on organizations taking action on innovative ideas.”

Cannabis 401(k)s Create Loyal Employees


By being bold and meeting the needs of your employees through well-designed benefits packages, cannabis organizations also encourage better retention—which is already a big, expensive problem dragging many companies down in the cannabis industry.

“With 401(k)s, cannabis companies would gain equal footing with non-cannabis companies to recruit, retain, and reward their employees.  Basically, cannabis companies could compete for talent and offer the usual employee benefit perks for working in a still growing industry,” said Esposito.

Enhanced employee retention leads to a myriad of positive outcomes for companies, including heightened innovation. After all, there is substantial evidence to support that creativity and happiness at work are strongly linked. As one study reports, “This research note nevertheless pointed towards the fact that happiness can be considered to be both an input factor as well as an output factor of the innovation process. Happiness likewise concerns users and producers of new knowledge and there is much to be learned from happiness research for innovation policy.”

Hence, by offering a cannabis 401(k) and defining your company culture as one that supports an employee’s well-being and aspirations—a cannabis company can boost workplace retention, and with it, creativity.

In the end, providing 401(k)s to your employees can be the difference between failure and success in the cannabis industry. By offering retirement benefits for your employees, your company acts as a leader, boosts employee satisfaction, and eases retention issues—priming your organization for innovation in the process.

Are you curious to learn more about how cannabis enterprises can offer retirement plans?

Join our CEO, Kirsten Curry, on November 16th for a virtual seminar hosted by Greenleaf Business Solutions. The webinar will feature a panel of industry experts who will discuss various retirement options for cannabis companies.

Register below!

401k Plans for the Cannabis Industry (

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