by Mike Hughes
Fri, May 28, 2010 4:21 pm
The United Food and Commercial Workers Local 5, a major union in San Jose, California, has reportedly become the first union in America to begin organizing medical marijuana workers. About 100 workers in the medical cannabis industry are in the process of unionizing.
Possible new job classifications, including "bud tender," are in the works but there is the potential for many other cannabis-related jobs to become unionized - including retailers, growers, and security personnel.
The move is considered mutually beneficial as the union's membership, which took a hit due to layoffs over the last year, would increase while the cannabis industry would gain legitimacy through unionization.
Additionally, a union endorsement of the Control and Tax Cannabis initiative - which is on the November ballot - could help remove the stigma that marijuana carries with some middle-class workers. The Local 5 has not yet endorsed the initiative but some believe an official announcement could come in July.
Legalization of marijuana in California would bring with it many new jobs and many potential union members.