Date posted: May 14th
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Keegan recently joined our podcast host TG Branfalt for a conversation covering Würk‘s vision for the cannabis space and the major challenges and opportunities facing the industry, including high employee turnover rates, the slow but steady evolution of cannabis employee benefits, the importance of human resources and innovative payroll solutions, and more!
TG Branfalt: Hey, it’s super stoked. It is a real big sort of issue that’s emerged especially since cannabis 2.0 as some people called it in 2016, with California, Nevada, all that going online, massive markets. But before we get into those issues man, tell me about yourself. How’d you end up in the cannabis space?
Keegan Peterson: Yeah, so I’ve spent the last 10 years personally in the HR and payroll space outside of cannabis, working with predominantly the retail and restaurant industries. A friend of mine here in Colorado had a dispensary that had a hundred employees, and he had been dropped by his sixth payroll and HR provider because his company touched cannabis. And he reached out to me and said, “Keegan, you do this for a living, can you help me out? I just need to pay my employees. I need to pay my taxes.”
At the time he was paying his taxes in cash. So he had to walk a million dollars of cash in a suitcase to the IRS building to pay his taxes at the end of the year. And that was a whole experience in itself. They had to have armed security guards on site, handcuffed the bag to his arm. When he told me this story, I was like, my jaw was on the floor and I was like, this cannot be how this industry has to operate.
So I quit what I was doing to help him figure out how to pay his employees and taxes, and then realized that the entire industry had a problem with this. So we started Wurk in 2015 to solve that problem so that every employee gets a paycheck, just like every other employee in the United States does, and to make sure taxes get paid on time and in the right format.