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Cannabis-Infused Dreams: Worker-Owner Relationships in an Emerging, Morally Contested Industry, Michele Cadigan
WhenFriday, Jan. 31, 2020, 12:30 – 2 p.m.
Campus locationSmith Hall (SMI)
Campus room306
Event typesAcademics
Event sponsorsHarry Bridges Center for Labor Studies.

The Harry Bridges Center is excited to invite Michele Cadigan, Sociology, for a Labor Studies Workshare of their paper titled, “Cannabis-Infused Dreams: Worker-Owner Relationships in an Emerging, Morally Contested Industry." 

Abstract: Economic sociologists have revealed that laborers can often work in ways that run counter-productive to the overall success of the company. Individuals work to transform their labor and market practices in ways that align with their own values and standards. However, to what extent do workers have control over market practices? And what role to employers play in this process? Drawing on 45 interviews with store owners and retail staff at 17 cannabis retail stores in Seattle and 107 hours of observation at three different pot shops, I find that workers play a central role in shaping the industry despite early efforts from employers to control how and what is bought and sold in their stores. Employers reported restructuring their organizations to allow workers a greater amount of autonomy and involvement in the decision-making practices at the stores and reported that venders often expended a significant amount of effort courting workers to get them to buy-in for their brand. As a result of these efforts, workers gained immense emotional satisfaction from their work. Implications for these findings are discussed.  

About: The Labor Studies Workshare features UW faculty and graduate students presenting works-in-progress on labor-related topics for feedback from an interdisciplinary audience of labor scholars from across campus. Workshares are held over the lunch hour and attendees are invited to bring their lunches.

Format: Workshare papers are circulated to registered attendees a week in advance of the workshare. Participants are expected to have read the paper before the meeting and be prepared for a discussion. To register, e-mail

For more information on future Labor Studies workshares, please click here.

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