Cannabis software startup Jointly Better Inc. plans to attract employees by offering monthly reimbursements for legal cannabis purchases as part of its compensation package.
The Los Angeles-based company’s co-founder reckons the cannabis edge will help it hire about 25 employees by the end of the year after announcing $5 million in seed funding from unnamed, accredited investors last week would have.
Jointly, which was founded in 2018, currently has 10 employees on its payroll but plans to increase that number to 35 by December 31.
“We have to compete against Amazon AMZN,
and Facebook FB,
for the same talent,” co-CEO and co-founder David Kooi told MarketWatch. “We can’t compete on price because these companies have more money.”
Billing the effort as an industry first, Jointly said it will reimburse up to $150 a month for legitimate cannabis purchases, as part of the company’s effort to set a “new standard” for recruiting top to set talents.
The company is trying to counter decades of thinking that cannabis is a banned drug that does more harm than good.
“I know from working in large corporations — even corporations with anti-cannabis policies — that some of their best employees use cannabis,” Kooi said. “It has been unfairly stigmatized and grouped with things that are far worse for you. In fact, it contributes to a better lifestyle – more so than alcohol.”
Eric Gutshall, Jointly’s co-founder and chief development officer, said the company developed the benefit with its legal, tax and human resources advisors, according to a prepared statement. Joint legal advice for the benefit of the law firm Vicente Sederberg LLP.
Jointly’s core business is an app that allows people to choose the experience and strain of cannabis they want based on a database of responses from previous samples. Each strain contains dozens of terpenes—aromatic compounds—as well as cannabinoids, all with different effects.
The Jointly app lists 12 goals and is seeded with data from more than 200,000 cannabis experiences from people who have tracked their results. Jointly will also offer to connect people with delivery services and businesses and may generate revenue from providing this service.
Jointly focuses more on cannabis experiences and providing a guide than helping people find a specific strain, which is more the specialty of a company like Leafly Holdings Inc. LFLY.
See: Leafly shares trade following acquisition by SPAC Merida Merger
Together they explored various medical, dental, eye care and gym memberships before the idea of cannabis reimbursement came up.
“It’s part of the life management and stress management toolkit,” Kooi said. “I hope others like the idea and want to imitate us.”
In the same way the wellness benefit would encourage someone to exercise or eat well because it makes them more productive, “targeted cannabis use” can be good for wellness, he said.
Happy and healthy people make better employees, he said.
Collectively prohibits employees from being under the influence of illegal drugs or alcohol on company property.
The company allows the use of prescription drugs and cannabis “so long as they don’t cause safety issues or interfere with an employee’s ability to do their job.” According to Jointly’s employee handbook, the company also allows “moderate use of alcohol and cannabis at company-sponsored or sanctioned events.”
Also read: Analyst tracks 11 states looking into adult cannabis sales