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We Need To Say #timesup In The Cannabis Space: Liv Vasquez Teaches Us How

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The cannabis industry, like any other, is no stranger to the #metoo and #timesup movement. Now that it’s been more than two years after the movements began, society is calling out abuses of power with more ease. One of those instances was highlighted in a trial recently won by Liv Vasquez; a case in which the harassment and assault she experienced highlight how the cannabis space brings a different angle to the movement.

In 2017, Vasquez filed an official complaint to previous employer MindRite (a dispensary in Oregon) about ongoing sexual harassment from fellow employees and supervisors. The owner of the dispensary mishandled Vasquez’s complaint and disregarded her physical and mental health needs, making it impossible for her to continue doing her work. Her experience led to a lawsuit against MindRite, one which Vasquez believes can work as a template for the cannabis industry.

Unlike most industries, a lot of what happens in cannabis happens “off the clock”, because public consumption isn’t legal. With the current Federal legal status being what it is, employees of dispensaries aren’t allowed to test out samples onsite. If you can’t sample the product, it makes it difficult to recommend to clients. 

In states where recreational is legal, such as Oregon (the state where the case took place), dispensary employees may share samples from brands. Vasquez says that despite there being more dispensaries than McDonald’s or Starbuck’s combined in Oregon, there was often a limited number of samples, making sharing necessary. Depending on the state laws, this could lead to sampling in private residences or cars. 

Source: https://hightimes.com/activism/we-need-bring-timesup-cannabis-space-liv-vasquez-teaches-us-how/

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