More and more Americans are turning to the so-called gig economy to make ends meet these days as the cost of living increases (particularly for housing in hot markets), leaving wages in the dust. You likely know people that have started driving for Uber and Lyft or are now renting out a room on Airbnb or a similar service. Even people with regular 9 to 5 type jobs are taking up a rideshare side hustle after work further squeezing those that have been driving full-time for such services full-time, as the sheer number of available drivers has led to companies paying drivers less overall. In California, enter cannabis delivery service Caliva that is bringing in Uber drivers with regular hours and benefits as Sara Brittany Somerset reported in Forbes after talking to CEO Dennis O’Malley:

“While we are required to treat our new hires as employees, the company decided to include ten days of paid vacation time, paid holidays, paid medical, and 401k plans. As a company philosophy, it just makes sense to treat our workers with respect.”

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“The drivers are going to be carrying our brand and our products to our consumers. We thought it was imperative to continue to build on a job that we think is vital to our business,” O’Malley says regarding his courier team. “We think the future of cannabis is certainly in providing convenience and we are looking to build up a great driver force in order to offer that.”

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The company has nearly doubled its workforce in 2018. With approximately 200 hires in the last six months, Caliva is currently spearheading job creation in the California cannabis industry.

Golden State regulations require cannabis companies in California to hire its drivers as employees, which gives workers more stability. It will be interesting to see if these cannabis regulations will influence other state regulators will prohibit rideshare companies from hiring all of their drivers as 1099 contract workers. With the cannabis industries in various states creating jobs and generating revenue for their states, it wouldn’t be surprising to see the industry leading the movement away from the gig economy and towards jobs with more security and consistency.

The California cannabis economy is heating up and there is no place to learn the latest and network with the investors and entrepreneurs that you need to know than the International Cannabis Business Conference. The ICBC will be in San Francisco on February 7-8, 2019, and early-bird tickets are on sale until January 18th. After San Francisco, the ICBC will be hosting events in Barcelona, Berlin, Zurich, and Vancouver throughout the year.