Washington state cannabis retailer inks pact with union

Washington state has what is reportedly its first unionized cannabis store, six years after state legalization and a nod to the business advantages of such arrangements.

According to Seattle TV station KOMO, Have A Heart’s 134 employees at five locations are now members of United Food and Commercial Workers Local 21, after their owner signed a collective bargaining agreement.

Have A Heart CEO Ryan Kunkel said there was a good business reason to enter into the union agreement and he wouldn’t mind if workers at his 18 stores in six other states wanted to collectively bargain as well.

He told KOMO he felt hampered in his efforts to recruit good employees because of a marijuana company’s inability to deduct business expenses.

“This was one of the fastest negotiations we’ve had because the owner was neutral and let the employees do what they want,” Local 21 President Todd Crosby told the station.

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