Recreational marijuana buyers in the south Puget Sound can now find products with a union label.
Perma, a Tacoma-based cannabis grower and processor, is the first recreational pot processor in the county to unionize. The workers have joined the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 367.
The process began in May when Perma founder Webb Bowie saw the union speak at a business event.
"I went to them and challenged them," Bowie said. "They didn't come knocking at my door."
Bowie thought the union could help him navigate his employees' needs and industry regulations.
TJ Lauritsan, a UFCW organizer who is part of the national campaign to unionize the cannabis industry, said the union can also help normalize the business.
Lauritsan says unionization "is letting people – across not only the state of Washington, but across the country – see those workers as regular workers."
The first products with the union label rolled out this week to Perma's retail partners, mostly around the south Sound.
"Most people will say, 'Well this is a union shop,'" Lauritsan said. "And they feel much better about spending their money there because they know there's not a lot of hanky-panky going on."