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April 20, 2017

Minnesota UFCW Locals express support for union cannabis jobs

Earlier today, Matthew Utecht, President of United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 653 and Jennifer Christensen, President of UFCW Local 1189, released a statement in support of union cannabis jobs in Minnesota:

“It’s time for every community in Minnesota to realize the incredible benefits that unions bring to this emerging sector. In the past year, we’ve negotiated contracts that brought strong wages, affordable health care and the retirement security of a pension to everyone who works at Minnesota Medical Solutions, the only union provider of cannabis medicine in our state.

“Most importantly, UFCW members who work in Minnesota’s cannabis industry have a voice and can speak up at every level, from seed to sale, to improve their lives. We encourage every patient to choose Minnesota Medical Solutions so that we can continue spreading the great benefits of union cannabis jobs to every corner of our state.”

Better Jobs

Multiple UFCW members who work at Minnesota Medical Solutions shared how being a part of a union made their cannabis jobs better.

“This 4/20, I’m lucky that I’ll be able to spend my day working amongst Minnesota’s finest medical cannabis,” said Nate Noel, a cultivator at Minnesota Medical Solutions. “Thanks to the UFCW and their partnership with Minnesota Medical Solutions, I’ll be working safely, treated fairly and growing cannabis in a compassionate, responsible and sustainable way. Our cannabis is grown under the light of the sun!”

Quality, Professional Care

“Our patients like knowing the dispensaries at Minnesota Medical Solutions are union,” said Christine Dallaire and Kari Ellingson, who work as Pharmacy Technicians at Minnesota Medical Solutions in Minneapolis. “People appreciate that our employer takes input from us and believes in our ability to improve the quality of our medicine and patient care.”

For the full release, please visit UFCW1189.org. 

May 9, 2012

STATEMENT OF THE UFCW IN SUPPORT OF THE HINCHEY-ROHRABACHER AMENDMENT

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW) issued the following statement today in support of the Hinchey-Rohrabacher Amendment:

“The UFCW supports the Hinchey-Rohrabacher Amendment. This amendment will prevent the U.S. Department of Justice from using taxpayer money to raid, arrest or prosecute medical cannabis patients and providers in the states where medical marijuana is legal.

“Medical marijuana laws have been enacted to allow patients safe and legal access to appropriately produced and compliantly dispensed medical marijuana in the safest possible environment and UFCW members in the medical cannabis industry work in accordance with state laws to provide safe and effective medical treatment for persons suffering from cancer and other serious medical conditions.

“At a time when millions of hardworking Americans are out of work and still struggling to make ends meet, the use of taxpayer money for the misguided targeting and prosecution of an industry that provides Americans with good middle class jobs with benefits is counterproductive. The U.S. Justice Department should not use the fewer resources it has to focus on targeting patients and dispensaries abiding by state law. That is a problem that the Hinchey-Rohrabacher Amendment will solve and the UFCW wholeheartedly supports it.”

October 7, 2011

UFCW STANDS WITH MEDICAL CANNABIS RETAIL WORKERS

(Washington, D.C.) – The United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW), the nation’s largest retail worker organization, demands an immediate end to the U.S. Attorney’s misguided prosecution of operators of small dispensaries of legal medical cannabis in California.

In the past year, thousands of hardworking and taxpaying medical cannabis industry workers have joined together with the UFCW in various states in order to protect their jobs in this emerging industry.   In today’s economy, hourly wage jobs like these that pay good wages with decent benefits are vital to keeping our economy afloat and families out of poverty.

At a time when the unemployment rate hovers around 9 percent, our economy requires bold action from our government to create good family-sustaining jobs. The steps taken by the four California U.S. attorneys to send letters Wednesday and Thursday notifying at least 16 medical dispensaries and their landlords that they are violating federal drug laws would do just the opposite.

“I have a good middle class American Job with good health benefits and a pension that I can look forward to,” said Larry Richards, a UFCW Local 5 member and a manager at the Blue Sky Dispensary in Oakland, California. “Because of our industry and our union I am able to be a productive breadwinner and, as a person living with HIV since 1983, I have fought and struggled not to be a drain on society. I want to work, I want to be productive but now, they want to take my job and put me back on the rolls of Social Security.”

UFCW proudly stands with our members in the Humboldt Growers Association, the Citizens for Safer Neighborhoods Committee of Colorado, the Michigan Medical Marijuana Association, and our coalition partners in MendoGrown, the Patients Care Alliance, the National Cannabis Industry Association, and the Citizens Coalition for Patient Care.

Medical cannabis is a safe and effective treatment option for many serious medical conditions including cancer, and patients should not be forced to purchase their medicine from criminals, drug dealers, and thugs.  If the federal government closes commercial dispensaries and collectives in California, patients will have no safe access to their medication.  In addition, thousands of workers will be forced from their jobs in the midst of the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.

UFCW and our members are dedicated to a dignified, controlled, taxed, regulated, compliant, unionized medical cannabis industry.  We stand in solidarity with the workers and patients of the unionized medical cannabis industry.