In a stand of solidarity with their American workers, cannabis-lifestyle company Tilray has announced that it will pay for travel and accommodation expenses for any employee who may need the ability to access safe and legal abortions outside of their home state. While most of the company’s employees are located in Canada, there are currently 300 staff who work in the United States.
The Tilray decision came days after the United States Supreme Court overturned the landmark 1973 Roe v Wade, which cited a 14th amendment right, as precedent for a woman’s right to choose whether or not to have an abortion. The SCOTUS decision immediately went into effect in a multitude of trigger states around the country, with more following in the next 30 days. In the 26 states who have or will ban abortion, women who are in need of services will either be forced to carry the pregnancy to term – or – she will have to make a trip in order to find a state where she can. Which is where CEO and Founder of Tilray, Irwin Simon is stepping in. On June 28th, Simon posted on his Twitter account:
At Tilray Brands, the health and safety of our employees, patients, and consumers is our top priority. Considering the recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling, we are updating our health care benefits for all Tilray U.S. employees to include transportation, expenses for employees and their covered family members to receive access to they reproductive care they need, and choose.
After his initial Twitter announcement, the communications liaison for the company commented that travel expenses, accommodation and paid time off will be included as part of the new addendum to Tilray’s health care policies.
Simon, who has spent the last 30 years in and around the consumer market, seems to take a fairly progressive stance on issues. Though the SCOTUS statement is most recent, Simon – who first started out in the organic food industry, has also made it clear that he believes prisoners who were kidnapped by the state for cannabis-related offenses should be immediately released from detention with the legalization of the medicinal herb. He added they should also be given a bee-line to employment in the cannabis industry. A progressive slant for a CEO who was once quoted as saying “Tilray will own Canada, and it will get bigger,” at Benzinga’s Cannabis Capital Conference earlier this year.
Though the plans to own Canada may be temporarily on hold. Tilray’s stock dropped (TLRY) nearly 6% percent in the last 24 hours since the announcement. The temporary dip in stock prices is attributed to a significant decrease in the national consumer spending figures, but it would be hard pressed to not notice the timing of the extreme drop coming so quickly after Simon’s announcement.
Tilray, at least when it comes to the press of this article, has been the only cannabis company to make such an announcement.
Chicana journalist, editor, educator, and organizer in Sacramento whose sole focus is to shed light on stories on our most impacted and marginalized communities, but even more importantly, for those stories to humanize those normally left out. She is an Ida B Wells Investigative Journalism Fellow 2022 Finalist, a member of the Parenting Journalists Society, and has bylines in The Courier, The Sacramento Bee, The Americano, Submerge Magazine among others.