Unvaxxed Harvest Cannabis Dispensary Worker in Arkansas Fired

Samantha Wise and the Harvest Cannabis store in Conway, Arkansas where she once worked. (Images via KARK)

An Arkansas woman was fired from her job for refusing to get the Covid vaccine. She was let go by the Harvest Cannabis Dispensary in Conway. This happened on March 3, but is just being reported now

The woman in question Samantha Wise is a mother of five who worked at the shop. “I knew most everybody’s names that came in there," she explained. "I liked making people’s day. That’s my main thing in life is to just make people smile.”

However, Wise is vaccine hesitant. She added: “I’m always that one out of every 10 or so that has a bad reaction. I’m that one. So, I would just rather not. I don’t have a good reaction with a lot of medicine.” 

While Wise "didn’t think it was really going to happen” - getting fired - Harvest Cannabis held their ground. Executive Director Robbin Rahman issued the following statement:

“With respect to the Covid-19 vaccine, Harvest takes very seriously its obligation to maintain a safe environment for its patients and also its employees. This obligation has never been more relevant than over the past year, during which every city – big and small – has been in the grips of a deadly pandemic. Harvest is a medical facility and many of its patients suffer from serious medical conditions and are considered ‘high risk.’ Harvest’s employees encounter upwards of 500 patients per day, often serving them in a one-on-one encounter. In other words, absent a targeted program, a medical marijuana dispensary like Harvest would pose a serious threat to the very people it is designed to help.”

And then the key point as it relates to Wise and anyone else:

“All employees, managers and owners must receive a COVID-19 vaccination as a condition of continued employment. Of course, for any employee that has provided notice of a medical or religious basis for not receiving the vaccine, Harvest will attempt to accommodate such employee to the extent possible.”

Can Wise sue Harvest? Little Rock attorney Chris Burks commented: “In Arkansas, your employer can fire you for not taking it, unless there is an issue with a medical issue or religious belief.”

In the case of Wise, she just doesn’t want to get vaccinated. Let’s give her the benefit of the doubt and call her a vax-phobe rather than an anti-vaxxer. But she’s not sick per se. 

Obviously, it’s her right to not want to be vaccinated against the coronavirus. A quarter of Americans feel that way.

But to be unvaccinated and work around medical patients is unconscionable. She couldn’t work at a hospital or a clinic at this point. What makes her think she can work at a cannabis dispensary? That’s just plain selfish.


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Steve Bloom

Steve Bloom

Publisher of, former editor of High Times and Freedom Leaf and co-author of Pot Culture and Reefer Movie Madness.