Oscar Velasco Schmitz
YEARS IN REGION
We have built a basic carbon foot printing tool and are beginning to track our operational energy use and our employees’ transportation to work. At this stage we are just capturing data and trying to discern the best path forward for reducing our energy consumption.
Our starting wage is $15, and our average wage is $15.72. We do not accept tips because we believe tips are a way for businesses to move the cost of employees to customers. We also offer regular sales bonuses, and we will be providing Health Care starting in October. We provide paid sick and safe time, as required by the City of Seattle (even for stores not located in Seattle). We work to ensure a safe work environment by creating a trusting and open workplace that accommodates all types of people. We have held trainings with our staff to facilitate creating a healthy environment where customers and staff of all backgrounds are welcome, safe, and happy.
We make a strong effort to be great neighbors and respectful of the many people who make up the communities around our locations. Earlier this year, our Sodo budtenders initiated Green Team, a regular neighborhood cleanup where we invite our vendors, neighbors and community to join us in picking up litter. We now do this at both locations, and have over 20 hours of group litter removal under our belt. We have also raised over 20k in charitable donations that we have distributed to many worthy non-profits in our area.
We have been active in organizing industry members to establish best practices and minimum quality standards for each part of the industry since our entry into the Medical market in 2011. We were one of the first medical stores in the nation to be certified by ASA’s Patients First Program (a 3rd party certification for quality and safety). Our organization is engaged in cannabis policy on multiple levels of government and NGO’s from City of Seattle, WA State Legislature, US House of Reps, US Senate, Women’s NORML, National Cannabis Industry Assoc., Coalition for Cannabis Standards & Ethics, The Cannabis Alliance, and The Center for Cannabis and Social Policy.
Unfortunately we don’t have much control over this area. Our producer/processors are the ones who choose the packaging options and we have done our best to work with companies that are taking a progressive stance and providing sustainable packaging options but many companies are not concerned about this yet. The LCB has also prevented us from setting up recycling stations in the stores. However internally we are recycling and composting at both locations. Finally, we have a water service and offer compostable cups for water for our customers, and encourage our employees to use reusable water bottles to reduce plastic water bottle use.
We have installed water conservation mechanisms where ever possible and our current operations use almost no water outside of our employee restrooms.
Dockside has not yet addressed this issue in our business, though we look forward to exploring ways we can play a positive role on this issue, in the future.
We look to source products from companies that are clean green certified or have their own internal standards for creating products with minimal environmental impact. We also only source products from vendors who are using less or up to the allowable amounts of the state allowable pesticides/chemicals. We also source at least 50% of our products from within a 2-hour drive of Seattle so we can minimize the environmental impact of having products delivered to us.
HEALTH & SAFETY
We are medically certified at both locations, and the health and wellness of our customers is one of our top concerns. We take great care to ensure that all of our products are meeting or exceeding the standards set up by the LCB and the DOH. We also look to source materials that are being made from all natural ingredients and organic products as much as possible. At the Coop we established a compassion program to serve low income patients and provide access to medical cannabis at an affordable price, which is something that we are working on rolling out in this new medical marketplace. Additionally, we sought out and received third party certification through the Americans for Safe Access pilot program called the Patients First Program. This was a rigorous examination of our business practices, quality control processes, and emergency protocols.