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Victoria cannabis store sharing profits with employees

Media Partners, Stratcann

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A cannabis retailer in Victoria, BC, says it will share profits with employees

Pineapple Victoria says that starting on December 1, it will be moving away from a model where profits from the business primarily benefit shareholders. Instead, the long-time retail store owners have decided to become a profit-sharing business with their half-dozen employees. 

“By sharing profits with our employees, we are directly investing in the welfare and stability of our team, allowing them to benefit from the success they help to create,” says Aaron Gray, one of the owners of the cannabis store. 

“This is another way to encourage staff to take ownership for the success of the business.”

Aaron Gray, Pineapple Victoria

“We’re an independent, mom-and-pop shop. Many of our staff have been with us for as long as about five years. We understand that a successful business is not measured solely by its financial performance but also by its positive impact on the community. The change also acknowledges that the success of a business is intrinsically linked to the wellbeing of its employees.”

Gray explains that Pineapple (formerly known as Pineapple Express) is owned by two families. Each family takes 35% of the business’ profit, while the staff will be entitled to the remaining 30% of the profit. The profit-sharing is in addition to regular merit-based raises that employees already receive. Wright notes that they are not planning on raising any of their in-store prices to cover the costs of the new profit-sharing program.

Pineapple started as a legacy-era dispensary in Victoria in 2015 and transitioned to the licensed, non-medical market in 2019, with some of its employees staying with them through that transition. 

Pineapple is lucky to have many employees sticking with them for years, says Gray, and he believes that the high rate of turnover and low wages in the industry can be frustrating for those with a passion for the business. 

“Through profit-sharing, we’re also hoping to show that working in a retail cannabis shop can be a career and can provide stability and personal satisfaction. While some might feel doubtful that this business model will work, we hope to prove them wrong.

“This is another way to encourage staff to take ownership for the success of the business.”

Kurtis Tingley, a manager at Pineapple, says he’s happy with the policy change. 

“It has been absolutely lovely to work for the owners of Pineapple, and profit sharing is just the latest in a long list of how well we are treated here. Profit sharing allows our small and tight-knit staff to have a say and agency in how the store is run, which I feel is rare in the retail industry.

“It’s a point of pride for the staff here to work for a locally owned and operated mom-and-pop store, and profit sharing only furthers that,” he continues. “It gives us an opportunity to be rewarded further for our hard work. With the cost of living increasing at such a fast pace, it’s a relief to potentially earn more hourly for doing the same job. We can feel the support from the owners, and it is very much appreciated.”

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