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How do you retain long-term staff?

There is no denying the serious issue of turnover in our industry. We feel staff frequently use our cannabis businesses as a stepping stone to greater and, ahem, greener pastures. @memberdirectory, how do you manage to keep staff for the long term? How does your corporate culture curate cannabis cultivation careers?


That is a very good question, likely the answers may vary a lot depending on local culture.

I know, here in Canada , especially in Quebec where I am, we are taxed beyond belief. income and sales and every time you take a breath there are taxes to be paid.

Therefore a common mistake that employers make is trying to retain by increasing salary. However the taxation just increases and the employee really doesn’t see any benefit to it sometimes gets to a higher tax bracket and end up losing benefits, paying more taxes and end up with less money which doesn’t help the employee neither does it help the employer as at the end of the day he also needs to make profit, paying more salary is expensive.

So giving more money doesn’t always work, but taking expenses away always does. Company often have those massive discounts for cellphones, internet, etc… let your employee enjoy those. They get a free phone and your company actually gets tax returns (and the employee might actually pick up more often when you need help)
while it might not “fully” legal, there is also no real harm into filling up their car once in a while on the company card, or ordering more food for the cafeteria and send every one home with a chicken or something … I’m not condoning fiscal evasion, but everything that reduces their expenses, makes them richer.

Beside the monetary aspect, what really works is “quality of life”. Be flexible on the schedules, on the day offs, on the last minute vacation opportunity, don’t bitch let them go!. Sometime making things easier like scheduling the employee according to traffic in the area. If the employee ends up driving only 15-20 minutes instead of being stuck for an hour in traffic, the moral is better and you get a better employee, that will be more loyal. Get out of the old ways of 9-5 nothing wrong with 10-4 if the employee agrees to be more efficient.

and don’t forget their birthdays, no need for extravagant gifts… a case of their favorite beer is always good.



I agree with your view.


Working in the industry for 5 years, what I see are a lot of people in charge who have never been in charge or know how to be leaders. They got into the industry because they wanted to be in the industry, but they know nothing about management or leadership.

On the other side, I’ve seen great companies and dispensaries that have structure with solid leaders, and the staff isn’t turning over constantly. The ones being bought out by big companies (locally - Med Men, Curaleaf) have corporate structure knowledge to hire the right executives to have a great team of employees.

Great leadership will prevent a lot of turnover.


I agree with you too. We are really early in the business maturation curve. I think grower will figure it out first and retail last.

The other issue is cannabis is becoming a commodity and that is going to create real segmentation. And that will be a good thing for everyone.


I also think it’s inclusive, so anyone and everyone thinks they can get in and stay in. As you know, not everyone sticks around, once they find out how much work this industry really is, and that we don’t all have millions of dollars.


“Work is called work for a hard reason, so do what you love and you never work a day in your life” Jack Kayes MD.

From the voices in my head

Ethan Kayes