Have A Heart becomes 1st Unionized Marijuana Shop in Washington

Posted by Sagar Satapathy on August 25, 2018.

Have A Heart became the first unionized retail store in Washington after it Friday signed a collective bargaining agreement with United Food and Commercial Workers Local 21, covering it’s 134 retail shop employees at its five locations.

With this, Have A Heart also became one of the largest unionization expansions for any pot company in Washington’s six-year legal marijuana industry.

The workers of the marijuana industry will now receive healthcare benefits, maternal and paternal paid time off, retirement benefits, and new rights surrounding discipline and firings.

According to Ryan Kunkel, one of the owners of Have A Heart, the pot industry had been trying to expand benefits for his workers for years. However, the federal government’s restriction on legal pot companies taking deductions from their federal tax returns has made that impossible.

But now we can expand those benefits after joining the large union, added Kunkel.

“We’ve been trying to figure out how to get these guys healthcare, pensions and benefits. Mathematically we couldn’t figure it out, there was no way to do it internally, not right now,” Kunkel said. “So that was the main driver for teaming up with them. Beyond all of the practical organized labor benefits, you have access to healthcare, pensions, and normal things that cannabis companies don’t offer.”

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