Union Bud Tender

San Jose union begins organizing pot workers

A major California labor union is organizing medical cannabis workers in Oakland, a move that analysts say will help efforts to legalize marijuana and open the door for the union to organize thousands more workers if state voters pass a measure in November to allow recreational marijuana use by adults.

The 26,000-member United Food and Commercial Workers Local 5 in San Jose is believed to be the first union in the country to organize workers in a marijuana-related business. It is considering new job classifications including “bud tender” – a sommelier of sorts who helps medical marijuana users choose the right strain for their ailment.

Mmmm…. jobs.

If California voters in November approve the Control and Tax Cannabis initiative, which would legalize marijuana possession and use of small amounts of marijuana for those over 21 and tax it, there could be thousands of new workers ripe for unionizing, said Dan Rush, a Local 5 organizer. […]

Getting unions involved may help destigmatize the legalization issue for union members who don’t already support it.

[Thanks, Tom]

Wouldn’t it be ironic if marijuana — the plant that’s supposedly single-handedly destroying productivity in this country — could end up helping solve the economic crisis by creating jobs?

Oh, and something I’d really like to see… an unemployed prison guard standing in line for an application to be a union bud tender.

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12 Responses to Union Bud Tender

  1. snarkler says:

    Government and unions and their gold midas touch only good will come of this. (sarcasm) Jobs? (made in China)

  2. Kozmo says:

    “an unemployed prison guard standing in line for an application to be a union bud tender.”

    I live for the day this comes to pass. 😀

  3. claygooding says:

    Wouldn’t the union being involved with the M/M workers curtail some of the prohibition support by the prison guard unions and police unions.
    The public support of prohibition on M/M issues by LE,could result in a loss of support from fellow unions on other issues.
    Especially with over 70% of the country supporting M/M.

  4. DavesNotHere says:

    Clay, unions really don’t get along with each other all that well. Too much corruption and thuggery in unions. We had a period of Union Wars in sourthern Illinois that was deadly and violent between members of unions fighting over power and control. They stepped over the line from wanting fairness to just being greedy long ago.

    Speaking of Illinois, Chicago is now the Drug War Capitol of America!

    In Cook County, drug crimes represented a bigger share of felony cases than any other major county in the United States, according to a federal study released Thursday.

    The Justice Department study — a snapshot of 39 counties in May 2006 — found that drug crimes were the most serious charge filed against 57 percent of felony defendants in Cook County.

  5. Jon Doe says:

    Damn, I need to move to California. Being a “bud tender” sounds like my ideal occupation.

  6. ezrydn says:


    And, a good union wage to go along with it, too!

  7. Do we really want the unions involved? How long do you think it would be before the unions do to cannabis what they did to GM and Chrysler? Of course, we may get a government bailout for bud…

  8. Pete says:

    I really have no idea whether union involvement is good or bad.

    But here’s how I look at it…

    The last drug policy reform initiative in California was defeated due to the efforts of the prison guard union, both because of the money they spent, and because the Democrats generally won’t oppose the will of the unions if they’re all on one side of an issue. This could blunt that power, and open up political support.


    Cannabis enthusiasts have, for years, often opposed (at least in spirit) the notion of big [anything] being involved. “Don’t let the government get involved in cannabis, they’ll tax it to death and ruin it for all of us.” “Don’t let big business get involved in cannabis, or they’ll commercialize it and ruin it for all of us.” Now, perhaps they’ll be concerned about union involvement.

    And yet, in so doing, they oppose the very forces that possess the political power to actually help make legalization happen. The political power that they lack.

    So I say: if government, big business, and unions want to get involved with cannabis for their own selfish reasons, maybe we should let them, and even encourage them. Cannabis enthusiasts will never be shut out entirely regardless of what happens. They thrive even during prohibition; they can certainly find a way to make it their own in a world of big government regulated, big business supplied, big union run cannabis big box stores.

  9. Hope says:

    Pete, well said, as usual. My thoughts exactly.

  10. claygooding says:

    I know that no matter what the government does,my supply will never stop and unless the prices of worm poop,blood meal and bone meal go up,my cost will remain the
    I grow my own because I refuse to support violence over marijuana and the only way I will buy cartel weed is if that is all they sell in whatever prison they put me in
    for growing my own.

  11. N/A says:

    So it is because of leftists that it’s still illegal. I’d rather buy weed from big business than a criminal. Or better yet grow my own – but I can’t because of religious right-wing Nazi shitheads!

  12. Sales is Sales says:

    Yes friends, the idea of a laid-off prison guard applying for budtender is beautiful. The promise of tax revenue seems to be working where decades of reason failed. While unionizing budtenders is a good thing in terms of guaranteeing healthcare, sick days, etc, clubs in SJ are starting to offer the option of straight commission. I jumped at the chance and I’d never go back. Sales is sales and it’s been proven that the only way to maintain high sales is via immediate incentive.

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