Cresco Labs (CRLBF -3.32%) is staffing up in its home state of Illinois and is using workers displaced in other industries to do it.
The company announced Monday that it has launched a program to staff its Illinois dispensaries with people who have lost their jobs in sectors like hospitality and food service. Such business have been very negatively affected by stay-at-home mandates resulting from the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus outbreak.
Cresco says it plans to hire 250 full-time workers under the program. It is partnering with hospitality companies throughout Illinois to advertise these positions. The jobs are varied and include managers, "wellness advisors," and security workers.
Although marijuana companies active in the retail segment are also coping with a drop in business, unlike other types of stores they have been allowed to remain open in many places. Illinois is among a host of American states and municipalities that have included dispensaries on the list of "essential" businesses permitted to operate.
Illinois is the latest state to legalize recreational marijuana; the move took effect on Jan. 1. Since then, demand has been strong and sales brisk. Chicago-based Cresco operates a network of dispensaries scattered throughout the state.
"During this time where the needs of patients and customers in Illinois is growing and demand continues to outpace supply, the ability for Cresco to continue to employ a robust workforce will ensure that medical patients and Illinois residents continue to have essential access to the products they rely on daily for their wellbeing," the company wrote in its announcement.
Cresco's shares, however, fell by nearly 3.8% in price on Monday -- a deeper fall than that of the broader stock market.