Before you read my “10 Common Compensation Mistakes” article, read “6 Cannabis Business Lessons We Learned Too Late”

Fred WhittleseyConscious Compensation: The Impact Compensation Blog, The Cannabis Compensation Blog

This is a very well-written article, and has two important points relating to compensation, underscoring my message in the previous post here “Beware the Fake Compensation Survey Data“ The article appears in today’s Cannabis Business Times, authored by Loren Picard, CEO of High Desert Flower, Inc. in Oregon. Here are two points that underscore the compensation challenges facing cannabis entrepreneurs: … Read More

Cannabis: Beware the Fake Compensation Survey Data

Fred WhittleseyThe Cannabis Compensation Blog

The current President of the US has popularized the term “fake news” – and many believe that his claims of fake news are fake. The cannabis industry is new and entrepreneurial, and companies are constantly looking for information and data to guide their business strategies and operations. The current regulatory climate does not make that an easy task. As a … Read More

We have a new incentive plan, what could possibly go wrong? (almost everything)

Fred WhittleseyConscious Compensation: The Impact Compensation Blog, Pay and Performance: The Compensation Blog, The Cannabis Compensation Blog

In this week’s edition of The Economist, the columnist Bagehot writes “How the British government rules by algorithm” (subscription required, and well worth it!). Compensation professionals: don’t leave this blog posting just yet. I’ll cite three examples they reference that speak for themselves, all direct quotes from the concise one-page article. “Targets create three common problems. They produce perverse results … Read More

Cannabis Case Goes to US Supreme Court

Fred WhittleseyCompensation Expert Witness Blog, The Cannabis Compensation Blog

Alice in Wonderland: Does Federal Law Apply to Cannabis Employees and Contractors? Most legal issues with cannabis companies have been on central business issues: Consumer health and safety regulations, continued black market activity, dispensary compliance, banking access, taxation, interstate transportation, and the ongoing conflict between the federal status of cannabis (a Schedule 1 drug, like heroin and meth) and the … Read More

Current Trends in Executive Compensation in Cannabis: Trulieve Cannabis Corp.

Fred WhittleseyThe Cannabis Compensation Blog

Fred WhittleseyCannabis Compensation ConsultantsT I reside in the US, in the State of Washington where cannabis is legal. Vertical integration is prohibited, but it’s a start. We, of course, are neighbors with Canada where the legal status of cannabis is quite different and there is a lot of complexity about where companies are headquartered, the subsidiaries they have and where … Read More

“Retirement” or “Severance” and the disclosure of either or neither or both

Fred WhittleseyConscious Compensation: The Impact Compensation Blog, Pay and Performance: The Compensation Blog, The Cannabis Compensation Blog

Topic: Executive CompensationSub-Topic: Compensation Arrangements for Departing ExecutiveCompany: Arena Pharmaceuticals (ARNA) Most small companies have no retirement benefits or pensions, especially entrepreneurial cannabis companies. This follows the pattern of technology company startups over the past several decades. They frequently have severance arrangements for departing executives, and these are quite varied, from “none” to “lots” and every gradation in between Arena … Read More

Cannabis Compensation #5: Cannabis is a Schedule I Drug So We Can’t Have a 401(k) Plan, Right?

Fred WhittleseyConscious Compensation: The Impact Compensation Blog, The Cannabis Compensation Blog

Wrong. Cannabis firms that “touch the flower” are operating under the shelter of their state’s law but are in violation of the federal Controlled Substances Act, categorizing cannabis as a Schedule I drug, along with heroin, LSD, and meth (cocaine is mere Schedule II drug along with Vicodin, Ritalin, and codeine; go figure). Cannabis is considered a “gateway drug” – once … Read More

Cannabis Compensation #4: What are cannabis companies like us doing about compensation?

Fred WhittleseyThe Cannabis Compensation Blog

Most public companies, and many private companies, develop a group of “peer” companies for compensation comparisons. And most generally follow the policy of Institutional Shareholders Services. ISS dictates that companies select peers based on the company’s industry code (GICS) and size (revenue and market cap). That is just not possible in the cannabis sector, because it is not an “industry” … Read More

Cannabis Compensation #3: Live

Fred WhittleseyThe Cannabis Compensation Blog

  I will be presenting at the Global Equity Organization (GEO) Americas Regional Conference on Tuesday, 22 October, in Huntington Beach (do I need to add “CA” to that?  No.) I co-founded GEO in 1999 and at that time could not have imagined there would ever be a cannabis-related presentation at one of the conferences.  But here we are. The … Read More

Cannabis Compensation #2: Executive Compensation in Cannabis Companies

Fred WhittleseyThe Cannabis Compensation Blog

From the Cannabis Compensation Consultant “A page-by-page peek at pair of popular pot periodicals and the people who publish pages for the partying portion of the population.” That was the subtitle of a term paper in Journalism 101, circa 1976, and the professor was the founder of the LA Free Press, Art Kunkin (died 30 April 2019). The paper received a … Read More