Growing Your Green: The Top 8 Cannabis Payroll Providers

Gabriela Tan
June 2, 2023

There’s no doubt that the cannabis industry has been rapidly growing over the past few years. With an expected annual growth rate of 25.4% in the US and 16.4% in Canada, this growth comes with a demand for specialized cannabis services to meet the industry’s unique needs. One new category of specialized services is cannabis payroll software. Between strict regulations and confusing tax laws, cannabis payroll can be complicated, which is why cannabis payroll providers are on the rise. But with multiple options, how can you decide which payroll provider is best for your cannabiz?

In this article, we’ll be highlighting the top 8 cannabis payroll providers in the industry. Whether your cannabis business is a small startup or a multi-location operation, this article will help you select the cannabis payroll provider that is right for you. On top of that, we’ll help you differentiate between payroll solutions that are specifically designed for the cannabis industry compared to white-label solutions. 

What is white labeling?

A white-label product is a product or service developed by one company that is rebranded and sold by another company. This gives the illusion that the product or service is different despite it actually being the same. The term "white label" comes from the idea of a blank white label on packaging that can be customized with the branding of another company.

White labeling in the cannabis payroll industry refers to an existing payroll company creating a new brand that targets the cannabis industry, while using the same technology for non-cannabis clients. Typically, white-label solutions are created by established payroll companies that wish to enter the cannabis industry without using their brand name. Hence, a different brand name is created despite using the same payroll software for all clients.

White-label solutions in cannabis payroll are seen as less favorable since these companies generally don’t understand the unique circumstances of the cannabis industry. Considering that cannabis is still illegal at the federal level in the US, it's essential to find a payroll provider with industry-specific expertise to ensure compliance with local laws and regulations. 

A cannabis dispensary with a modern design.

What should I look for in a cannabis payroll provider?

When choosing a payroll provider for your cannabis business, there are several factors to consider. Here are the seven most important features to look for:

  1. Industry expertise: Look for a payroll provider that has experience in the cannabis industry and has software that’s built specifically for cannabis. This knowledge should include understanding the state and federal regulations, compliance issues, and the unique needs of cannabis businesses. 
  2. Potential for growth and modifications: Since the cannabis industry is still relatively new, there’s a lot of room for future developments. It’s important for your payroll provider to keep up with the ever-changing industry and grow with you. 
  3. Reasonable pricing: Some payroll providers may charge a cannabis premium. Shop around to ensure you’re getting the best deal. You should also understand the pricing structure and how this can impact overall cost. Some companies charge per employee, while others charge a flat rate per location.
  4. POS integration: An essential metric for profitability in the cannabis industry is your labor costs vs. sales. Having payroll software that can integrate with your POS system will make this much easier to track. 
  5. Customer support: As a business owner, you want to spend as little time as possible on payroll, so you can focus on running other aspects of your business. Easy-to-reach and knowledgeable customer support is a must to help you run your payroll as efficiently as possible. 
  6. Comprehensive services: Consider whether the payroll provider offers supplementary services, such as employee scheduling, time tracking, recruitment, onboarding, and compliance assistance, in addition to basic payroll processing.
  7. Payroll automation: Your payroll provider should make processing payroll as easy as possible. Look for providers who offer automated payroll so that you can complete pay runs in a matter of minutes.

If you take these factors into consideration, you can make an informed decision when selecting a payroll provider that meets your business’ needs and budget. 

The top 8 cannabis payroll providers

Here is an overview of the top 8 cannabis payroll providers. We break down their key features, weaknesses, and integrations with other platforms. 

Please note that this is a brief overview of each platform that may not cover every feature and capability. For a comprehensive list of features and benefits, it is recommended to consult with each payroll provider directly. Booking a sales demo is the perfect way to fully understand a product and whether or not it is the right choice for your business. 

1. KayaPush

  • An easy all-in-one solution that simplifies human resources, payroll, recruitment, onboarding, time tracking, scheduling, and employee management
  • Platform supports multiple dispensary locations, with one dashboard to view metrics across all locations with ease
  • Allows for POS integration to track labor costs vs. sales and labor forecasting
  • Automated calculations for statutory holiday pay and tax deductions 
  • Automated payroll which can be completed in 3 clicks
  • Recruitment integrations with LinkedIn and Indeed 
  • The only cannabis payroll software that is made specifically for the cannabis sector
Screengrabs of the top rated KayaPush cannabis payroll software.

2. Wurk

  • A simple and intuitive solution focused on usability and people
  • Offers a multi-solution that incorporates payroll, human resources, timekeeping, scheduling, and tax regulation
  • Works with partners to provide guidance on 280E tax law, accounting, and banking
  • Integrates with other providers, such as 401k providers, benefits consultants, and recruiting software
  • No capacity to integrate client feedback into products
  • Does not offer POS integration
  • A white-label solution by UKG

3. Gusto

  • Award-winning payroll, HR, and more for one clear price
  • Robust offerings, including benefits, 401k, and HR management
  • Integrates with multiple platforms, including POS, scheduling, and accounting providers
  • Ability to run payroll from your mobile phone or tablet
  • Offers time tracking, but no scheduling features
  • Specializes in all small businesses, but does not specialize in cannabis
  • Only has the capability of paying US employees — international employees (including in Canada) require a contractor plan at an additional fee

4. ADP

  • Fast, easy, and affordable small business payroll
  • Automated payroll and tax filing
  • Integrates with many types of platforms including POS, benefits administration, and accounting solutions
  • All packages come with onboarding assistance
  • They have both a desktop version and a mobile app
  • Limited customization options
  • Not cannabis-focused, so they don’t have any support when it comes to 280E or industry-specific compliance

5. Adaptive HR

  • Offers an extensive HR platform and deep industry knowledge of all aspects of the cannabis industry
  • Their services include payroll, HR management, compliance, tax services, and benefits administration 
  • Cloud-based platform with employee self-service
  • A white-label solution by Resourcing Edge

6. Paragon

  • Flexible and customizable payroll solution that covers payroll, tax, and administration
  • Prides themselves on helping businesses with complex payrolls
  • A white-label solution by Payentry
A customer is purchasing cannabis from a dispensary with a cannabis payroll provider.

7. Panacea

  • Experts in payroll processing while offering a portfolio of managed services that you can rely on
  • Offers comprehensive solutions, including payroll, tax services, workforce management, HR management, benefits administration, and recruitment 
  • Does not offer POS integrations 
  • A white-label solution by Apex

8. Green Leaf Payroll & Business Solutions

  • Integrated payroll and HR services
  • Offers cannabis banking, payroll, and HR consulting 
  • Custom solutions available
  • Does not offer POS integrations
  • A white-label solution by Kronos

Final Thoughts on Selecting a Cannabis Payroll Provider

The cannabis industry has unique requirements when it comes to payroll and compliance. When choosing a cannabis payroll provider, it's important to consider your specific needs, budget, and growth plans to make an informed decision. With the right provider, you can streamline your payroll and compliance while freeing up time to focus on growing your business.

Looking for a specialized payroll provider that was built for the cannabis industry? Simplify your payroll with KayaPush and start doing more of what you love! Book a demo with us today to get started.

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June 2023


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