Retail therapy: Safety, education at stores need upgrades

For some retailers in regulated markets, it’s high time to improve the safety and education of staff after experiencing issues as far-ranging as burglaries and high turnover.

Safety for all

After his staff at Lake City Cannabis was overtaken by three men and the store was robbed (everyone is safe, FYI), Calgary-based Ryan Roch is calling for changes to a provincial policy that says cannabis storefront windows must be covered or blacked out.

“This has created an unsafe work environment and at the end of the day puts our frontline workers at risk,” he tweeted. “It’s time we all champion this issue and put an end to this regulation for the safety of everyone before the price we pay on this is someone’s life.”

Standardized skill sets

And in the US, more than 30 companies have signed on to launch the Green Flower Institute, which has three certificate programs for workers that they hope will become the industry standard for dispensary associates, cultivation technicians and manufacturing agents. The goal is to reduce turnover and help get new employees up-to-speed.

“From an employer perspective, turnover rates are sky high in the cannabis industry — between 40 and 60 per cent within the first two months,” said Green Flower media manager Adam Summers in an email. “And some studies have shown as high as 80 per cent of people working in the cannabis industry come into it with no background knowledge or experience.”

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