A Dispensary Owners Guide To Understanding Instant Pay

May 19, 2022

Heard about Instant Pay before? Yes? No? Maybe? Don't worry — we’re about to give you the 101 class on it. 

As a dispensary owner, you understand that hiring the right employees is the most important decision any business can make to secure its growth and success. The right employees are the most valuable asset to a company as they work towards supporting the business to attain its long-term goals, mission and vision. Doug Conant, CEO of Campbell's Soup, said, "To win in the marketplace, you must first win in the workplace." Let’s put that another way—business owners who take the time and effort to invest in their staff subsequently succeed in the market.

Running a successful cannabis dispensary business entails building the best dispensary team with roles that range from consultants (legal counsel and compliance officer to full-time employees such as budtenders and store managers). With the cannabis industry growing fast and struggling with a high employee turnover rate (40% - 60% within the first two months), dispensary owners recognize that it's essential to not only find the best people to work and run the stores but also to invest in retaining them. 

As more dispensaries open up and people enter the cannabis job market, employee retention is becoming competitive and challenging. In order to ensure business longevity, dispensary owners are all looking for different ways to keep their talent. 

Therefore, the important question is, what secret sauce will support dispensary owners to retain great talent?
 The answer is Instant Pay. 

In this article, you will learn about Instant Pay and how it supports staff retention: 

  • What is Instant Pay?
  • Why should dispensary owners consider Instant Pay?
  • Does offering Instant Pay cost me? 
  • How does dispensary payroll work with Instant Pay?
  • How do I set up Instant Pay? 
  • How does Instant Pay help with retaining great employees? 

Instant Pay, dispensary's

What is Instant Pay?

Instant pay, also known as Early Wage Access (EWA), is where employees have access to their earned wages when they need them outside of the business' pay cycle.

Since most businesses' pay is on a two week or monthly cycle, EWA allows employees to access the money they have already earned when they need it, even before the official payday. These funds are not loans/advances to employees as it is money that is already earned. 

Let's say an employee needs money to pay for an emergency and has worked two weeks with payday due at the end of the month. Instant Pay gives the employee the ability to access the wages they have worked for before payday. 

Leading Instant Pay service providers like KOHO provide a free payroll benefit that gives cannabis dispensary staff on-demand cash payment access of up to 50% of their pay earned every workday on a daily basis.

Why should dispensary owners consider Instant Pay?

After suffering through the 2020 COVID-19 global pandemic, the world economy is yet to recover. The current rising inflation and high cost of living mean that 47% of Canadians and 64% of Americans are living paycheque to paycheque. And while businesses are increasing wages, they can't keep up with the inflation rate which means that the value of a dollar can only stretch so far. 

These challenging economic circumstances have translated into employees having to constantly worry about their ability to pay bills and meet deadline payments, which hinders their ability to be productive and perform at their jobs. To resolve this challenge, dispensary owners should consider Instant Pay for these two reasons:

  • For Employees: It allows employees to access interest-free cash from their earned wages to handle their financial responsibilities, giving them peace of mind. 
  • For Dispensaries: Benefits like Instant Pay are an excellent incentive for both attracting prospective employees and retaining current workers as it indicates a positive work environment that supports staff. 

Dispensaries that partner with Fintech platforms like KOHO allow employees to have early access to their earned wages to meet their financial needs without having to take out a payday loan, creating a conducive work environment. This works favorably for dispensary owners as supporting employees' early access to earned wages leads to increased productivity and staff retention. 


Does offering Instant Pay cost me? 

There is no cost for the dispensary owner. Instant Pay is free

In addition to not incurring a cost, KOHO InstantPay offers these benefits:

  • It differentiates your dispensary from your competitors and attracts the best talent with a unique employee benefit. 
  • It boosts employee loyalty and retention by increasing performance while reducing turnover. 
  • It integrates seamlessly and quickly with existing payroll technology. 
  • It handles funding requests and provides platform support. 

How does dispensary payroll work with Instant Pay?

One of the best features of Instant Pay platforms like KOHO is its capacity to seamlessly and quickly integrate with payroll technology with no added costs or changes to existing systems. You will be able to run payroll normally. 

Payroll software like KayaPush Payroll, which integrates seamlessly with KOHO, allows dispensary owners to quickly and easily run payroll when employees request access to their wages. KayaPush Payroll runs the payroll within minutes, identifies the hours worked and automates payroll calculations to provide an accurate pay earned/due statement for the employee. 

When an employee requests Instant Pay, a dispensary owner will use the payroll software to display the amount earned and due and prompt payment to be made based on the request.  

Instant Pay, dispensary's

How do I set up Instant Pay? 

Setting up Instant Pay platforms like KOHO is quick and easy.

The setup process takes just three simple steps:

  • Sign up for KOHO
  • Link your existing bank account 
  • Cash-out part of your daily pay in just a few clicks

That's it, and your employees have instant access to your daily pay. 

How does Instant Pay help with retaining great employees?

Employees are the foundation of a business, so finding and hiring great employees is important. But hiring is only one part of managing talent—the other is retaining these employees. While there are different reasons why dispensary employees quit, it can be mitigated by prioritizing staff and creating a positive work environment where employees feel supported and valued. 

For Instant Pay to support staff retention, it must be beneficial for both the dispensary owners and the employees. While offering a competitive salary and benefits is a tremendous financial incentive for employees to remain loyal to the business, Instant Pay takes this to another level by:

Offering unique financial opportunities

Instant Pay services such as KOHO offer unique financial opportunities to employees. Equipped with a mobile app, a reloadable prepaid Visa card and money management features, KOHO gives employees the opportunity to:

a) Earn 0.5% instant cashback on all purchases and up to an extra 5% cashback at KOHO brand partners that can be cashed out on the mobile app at any time. In addition, employees can earn 1.2% interest on both their spending and savings account. 

b) Build on or improve their credit history by taking out a credit-building line of credit with KOHO and making on-time payments of $7 per month, which will enhance credit scores. 

Supporting employee growth and learning  

One of the best ways to engage and retain great employees is investing in their growth and learning in financial literacy and tools. PwC reports that financial matters are the top cause of stress and a major distraction at work as employees seek to manage their finances better. 

As we mentioned earlier, financial distress can hinder productivity and job performance, so dispensary owners need to invest in Instant Pay platforms like KOHO that come with money management capabilities and access to free financial coaching. 

KOHO's prepaid Visa card is connected to a smart budgeting app that simplifies day-to-day finances with spending insights and helps users spend more mindfully, saving an average of 7% of money loaded onto their accounts. 

KOHO promotes better money management with:  

  • Saving and earning with cashback and interest on spending and savings accounts 
  • Safe financial transactions that provide a loadable prepaid Visa card and an intuitive app 
  • Ability to budget and track with preloading to make budgeting easy, with balance updates after purchase and spending insights to stay on track.


The best part is that KOHO is free with no hidden monthly, e-Transfer and interest charges, giving employees free and easy access to their funds. 

Financial education programs have positive results and have been known to boost employee engagement, morale and retention. This is why signing up for Instant Pay platforms like KOHO, which provide early wage access, money management features, and access to free financial coaching, is an excellent course of action for dispensary owners. 

Seamless integration with existing systems

Nothing makes adapting to new technology easier for businesses than when it seamlessly integrates with the currently used systems. For example, instant Pay apps such as KOHO are built with intuitive technology to enable easy connection with existing payroll systems. 

For dispensaries that use payroll systems like KayaPus, dispensary owners can run payroll within minutes giving employees quick access to their funds. KOHO is an excellent Instant Pay platform as it brings no extra costs, additional workload or system changes to the business. 

Choosing an Instant platform like KOHO, which is so easy to use, shows employees that dispensary owners care about making it a quick and easy process for them to access earned wages when they need them, thus earning employee loyalty. 

Instant Pay, dispensary's

Attract and retain the best talent

In the competitive market of attracting the best talent in the cannabis market, your dispensary has to differentiate itself from the competitors to stand out. 

Employees in the current job market are vocal about their needs and want to know how businesses are going to support them. In a world where dispensaries offer the same standard industry salary and benefits, offering Early Wage Access will attract 1.9x more applicants than your competitors in the hiring process. Attracting more applicants increases the chances of hiring top talent in the market and applicants are more inclined to sign with employers whose policies support employees. 

Having Instant Pay options like KOHO available for employees to use when they have financial needs before the payday cycle reduces turnover by 32%. This is because employees are more inclined to engage with and remain at a dispensary that supports their early access to earned wages to fulfill financial responsibilities. 

With Instant Pay, dispensary owners can attract and retain top talent to support the business's growth. 

In Conclusion

As a dispensary owner, it makes sense to search for new and unique ways to attract and retain good employees in the current competitive business climate. Understanding that employees keep the business alive, and taking intentional steps to support them, builds a culture of loyalty to the dispensary. 

As a benefit for both employees and the business, Instant Pay is a game-changer. Allowing employees to access their earned wages to meet their financial obligations quickly makes employees happy. Happy employees are productive, engaging, highly motivated, and loyal, which helps a dispensary attract and retain its staff. 

Instant Pay services like KOHO make early wage access easy and, in addition, provide financial management advantages like budgeting, tracking, cashback, data insights and access to free financial coaching. 

The best part is that Instant Pay platforms like KOHO integrate with payroll systems such as KayaPush payroll software, making running payroll and making payments easy. In addition, EWA is free and accessible to your employees when using KayaPush payroll and has zero impact on your cash flow. 

There you have it, all the basics of Instant Pay and how it can be beneficial for both employees and business owners. As a dispensary owner, there's always value in supporting employees as they are the pillars on which the business stands, and Instant Pay is that unique benefit that will make the dispensary stand out. 

So go check out the Instant Pay platform KOHO and watch it take your employee retention numbers to the next level. 

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