As cannabis becomes a bigger and stronger industry, unionization is inevitably going to be a part of it. Businesses in the city of San Jose, California are now joining the ranks of unionizing cannabis.
According to the San Jose Spotlight, MedMen dispensary in San Jose was officially unionized on Aug. 16. The business has paired up with United Food and Commercial Workers Local 5 Union.
The MedMen company already had partnerships with unions, but this will mark the partnership officially expanding into the area and becoming more entrenched in California. “[MedMen] has decided that partnering with unions is the way best way to shape the industry moving forward,” UFCW Strategic Campaign Director Jim Araby told the San Jose Spotlight. “Point to another private sector industry that a potentially big player in an emerging market has decided that it’s better to partner with labor than to fight it.”
Those who are members in the union are guaranteed nearly $3 above minimum wage, a two-week vacation, a 40 percent employee discount, overtime, recognized holidays off and time-and-a-half pay for working holidays. Additionally, health benefits are guaranteed for those who work both full and part time.
“It’s really exciting to be a part of the standard of legislation for cannabis partners,” MedMen San Jose employee Hannah Bass said. “It’s great to be a part of MedMen, who really wants to take a stance and leadership role in this.”
“The union is there to help you,” she added. “It’s more about stability and a standard of care to let you know that your voice is being heard.”
California is doing everything within its power to make the cannabis industry positive and modern. A dispensary in San Francisco just donated to an LGBTQ law center and the state is currently poised to become one of the biggest cannabis markets. This is another way the industry is setting a positive standard.