Saturday, July 02, 2022

L&I sues cannabis retailer for possible labor violations

by Staff Report
| May 16, 2022 1:00 AM

TUMWATER — In a first, the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries and Washington Attorney General Bob Furguson’s office are suing a Spokane cannabis retailer for failing to pay overtime wages to their employees for the last three years.

In a press release issued Thursday, L&I said the suit against Cannabis Green — which owns Lovely Buds, Lovely Buds North and Lovely Buds Division in Spokane — alleges the company paid employees overtime only if they worked more than 40 hours at a single store.

“In many cases, employees worked more than 40 hours at difference stores the company owned without receiving overtime,” the press release stated. “Sick leave was parceled out the same way.”

According to the L&I press release, Cannabis Green could owe employees as much as $300,000 in unpaid wages and overtime. Employees first filed a complaint with L&I in 2019, and while the company initially complied, Cannabis Green later filed suit to block the investigation but failed in court, according to the press release.

As the investigation continues, L&I said it will determine how many of the company’s roughly 75-100 employees are involved and are owed back wages and benefits. The company’s three stores posted total sales in 2021 of $10.7 million to the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board, according to L&I.

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