Interesting story and positive for Medmen after some of the torrid management issues they have been having in 2019. UFCW Strategic Campaign Director Jim Araby told media outlet the San José Spotlight on Thursday that the goal is to set a standard for the rest of the expanding industry.
San Jose is now home to the South Bay’s first unionized cannabis dispensary. Reports the San Jose Spotlight.
An announcement just after noon on Friday at San Jose City Hall detailed the partnership between MedMen and the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 5 union.
This will be an expansion of the union partnership into the South Bay, as MedMen signed its first collective bargaining agreement with UFCW Local 770 to represent its Los Angeles employees earlier this year. The cannabis retailer has operations across the U.S. and flagship stores in Los Angeles, Las Vegas and New York.
UFCW Strategic Campaign Director Jim Araby told San José Spotlight on Thursday that the goal is to set a standard for the rest of the expanding industry.
“(MedMen) has decided that partnering with unions is the way best way to shape the industry moving forward,” Araby said. “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.”
Union membership at the dispensary, located at 1075 N 10th St. in San Jose, includes nearly $3 above minimum wage in California, two-weeks vacation, a 40 percent employee discount, overtime wage premiums, 10 recognized holidays off and time-and-a-half pay for anyone working on a holiday.
Alongside a guaranteed 40 hour work week for full-time employees and 20 hours for part-time workers, the company also provides fully paid health benefits for eligible employees, including those who work part-time.
MedMen San Jose employee Hannah Bass said she was excited to be a part of the union, for both the benefits it brings herself and the cannabis industry as a whole.
“It’s really exciting to be a part of the standard of legislation for cannabis partners,” Bass said. “It’s great to be a part of MedMen, who really wants to take a stance and leadership role in this.”
UFCW Cannabis Information Page
Our union family has been proud to help lead the development and stabilization of the emerging cannabis sector through our innovative Cannabis Workers Rising campaign, which has existed since 2010.
We represent tens of thousands of cannabis workers across multiple states. UFCW members in the legal cannabis industry work in growing and cultivating facilities, manufacturing and processing facilities, and also in laboratories and dispensaries.
The legal cannabis industry is a newly regulated market that can offer local communities jobs with strong wages and benefits that can’t be outsourced.
The UFCW offers cannabis workers and business owners, along with patients and coalition allies, the opportunity to work together to accomplish shared goals. By crafting and supporting targeted legislative efforts, along with negotiating the best contracts for workers, we’ve been able to set high standards throughout the industry.
Wherever cannabis is legalized, the UFCW is committed to building a successful industry with a thriving, diverse and skilled workforce.
Jobs that pay better wages and provide better benefits—like the ones we represent—are vital to keeping our economy afloat and families out of poverty.