Grow, Gift, Repair

Cultivating a Safe Work Environment: Measuring and Addressing Sexual Harassment in Cannabis Dispensaries

Sexual harassment continues to endure as a public health problem through its persistence in everyday life, but especially in the workplace. Sexual harassment permeates all workplaces but is especially pervasive in service industries such as retail, food, and hospitality. The current study aimed to shed light on sexual harassment in the context of cannabis dispensaries, as cannabis is a recently legalized industry whose occupational hazards remain largely understudied. A mixed methods design was used to investigate the prevalence of sexual harassment in cannabis as well as the organizational risk factors of cannabis store fronts. Survey data was collected from a convenience samples of dispensary workers in Los Angeles County (n=117) and 7 workers were recruited for in-depth interviews through snowball sampling. Multivariate analysis of the survey data revealed gender identity and sexual orientation as significant predictors of sexual harassment. Women and lesbian, gay and queer identifying workers experienced greater frequency of harassment than men and heterosexual peers, respectively. Organizational risk factors identified through qualitative analysis of the interviews included tips, working in insolation and apathetic responses from managers. Findings from this study demonstrate the value of engaging in mixed methodologies to investigate the new burgeoning industry of cannabis.