Best Practices

The Marijuana Industry Should Take Note Of Harassment Policies

The cannabis industry is vulnerable to incidents of harassment

Over the last month, multiple incidents of sexual assault and sexual harassment have been reported in the entertainment industry. Though this happened in a high profile industry, most workplace sexual harassment is experienced by low-wage hourly employees. Employers in the marijuana industry should heed the wake-up call and make sure their policies and procedures are effective in preventing sexual harassment in the workplace. The cannabis industry is vulnerable to incidents of harassment for two reasons. First, marijuana businesses are predominantly men: Male-dominated businesses often develop a language and culture that can be overtly hostile to women. Second, the industry is still young, and most individuals in management positions do not have executive-level experience. Additionally, many cannabis businesses lack any sort of policies to address workplace harassment.

Sexual Harassment Policy Basics

  • inform employees of company’s objective to maintain a workplace free of harassment in all forms,;

  • define prohibited conduct; and give examples of prohibited conduct;

  • establish procedures for reporting sexual harassment;

  • prohibit retaliation; and

  • inform employees and contractors of potential disciplinary actions for violating policy.

What it means for retail: The marijuana industry is going to be growing and adding new faces and employees at a breakneck pace over the next five to ten years, and it is important for all retailers and marijuana industry employers to have sexual harassment policies and procedures in place and workers properly trained.

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