Marijuana Dealers Join Union Seeking Benefits

Wednesday, 19 Oct 2011 02:40 PM

 

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink

Medical-marijuana dealers in two states seeking legitimacy for their industry have voted to join a union, offering prospects for private-sector expansion to the stagnating U.S. labor movement.

Colorado’s legal-marijuana sellers, representing 8,000 people, approached the United Food and Commercial Workers and held an election in September. The labor union, which traditionally bargains with grocery and meat-packing companies, created a Medical Cannabis and Hemp Workers division two months ago that has 2,000 members in Colorado and California.

“It’s a different paradigm than the traditional labor- management concerns,” Mark Belkin, the union’s Colorado organizing director, said in an interview today. “It’s a more collaborative relationship.”

Legal-marijuana employers “want to become a top-notch industry, and be recognized as so,” Ken Correia, owner of Solace Meds in Fort Collins, Colorado and a union member, said in an interview. “We want to be able to offer benefits. We want to be able to offer retirement funds.”

Sixteen states and the District of Columbia have legalized the medical use of marijuana. The U.S. Justice Department has warned that marijuana dispensaries and licensed growers could face prosecution for violating federal drug and money-laundering laws.

Customers in Colorado, which legalized medical marijuana in 2000, must have a prescription and a state license to buy marijuana.

Starting a Dialogue

Correia said dispensaries are eager for organizational experience and political support. The union “can help us get to another level faster than we could on our own,” he said. “We need some help to organize so we can get further in Washington, and possibly start a dialogue.”

Marijuana use to ease pain related to ailments such as cancer, AIDS, glaucoma and multiple sclerosis is a $1.7 billion market, and may increase to the level of Pfizer Inc.’s erectile- dysfunction drug Viagra, according to a March report produced by See Change Strategy LLC of Washington, a financial analysis company. Pfizer reported $1.93 billion in sales for Viagra last year.

The study received financing from the American Cannabis Research Institute, which advocates medical marijuana use, and DealFlow Media Inc., which researches alternative-asset markets.


© Copyright 2014 Bloomberg News. All rights reserved.

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Retype Email:
Country
Zip Code:
 
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
You May Also Like

Russia Warns US against Further Sanctions as Ukraine Deal Stalls

Friday, 18 Apr 2014 20:23 PM

Russia said its military is massed on Ukraine's doorstep and warned against further US sanctions as a deal struck with W . . .

Sen. Corker: Time to Consider Sending Weapons to Ukraine

Friday, 18 Apr 2014 19:31 PM

It is time for the United States to provide lethal weapons for Ukraine's military, Sen. Bob Corker said Friday, and make . . .

Pope's Good Friday Message: 'Remember All the Abandoned People'

Friday, 18 Apr 2014 18:05 PM

The plight of immigrants, the poor, the sick, the elderly, unemployed and prisoners dominated Pope Francis' Good Friday  . . .

Newsmax, Moneynews, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, NewsmaxWorld, NewsmaxHealth, are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved