Ayr Strategies, a vertically integrated cannabis firm, has partnered the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW) to expand its paid sick leave policy across all businesses under its ownership.
Jen Drake, COO of Ayr, tells Cannabis Business Times that it’s an immediate move to help counteract the encroaching public health crisis brought on by the spread of COVID-19 in North America.
“At Ayr, our most precious assets are our people and clients,” she says. “Through our strong relationship with the UFCW, we proactively worked to develop and implement measures to protect the well-being of our team, our clients and our communities, including expanding paid leave for our employees. We want our employees to know that we are fully committed to their well-being and that financial considerations should not get in the way of them taking care of themselves or their families. This will also help slow down the spread of the virus and protect communities in which we operate.”
The Ayr Strategies portfolio includes: The Dispensary (Nevada), MYNT, CannaPunch, Highly Edible, Dutch Girl, Nordic Goddess, Sira Naturals, KYND and Kanji. For employees who need to take time away from work due to illness (or the possibility of illness), this policy allows some peace of mind in an otherwise trying moment.
“We're tracking developments around COVID-19 on an ongoing basis and remaining in constant communication with employees around protective measures,” Drake says. “One of our most important takeaways from this week is one that we have always been focused on—that it's necessary to build a strong, sustainable, cash-flow positive business that allows us to serve our employees and our communities in time of need.”
Looking ahead as the COVID-19 public health crisis deepens, Drake says that Ayr Strategies is working to ensure that the supply chain remains intact and rigorous—"from keeping stock on the shelves despite potential supply challenges, looking for ways to deliver needed products to patients in a low risk manner—ordering ahead for minimal contact, keeping low concentrations of people in dispensaries, working with regulators on creative solutions for alternative delivery mechanisms.”