Pot Growers Join Teamsters Union

It's unclear how unionizing will help though
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 21, 2010 9:21 AM CDT
Matthew Harris, a new Teamsters member, works with a white widow marijuana plant in its fifth week of flowering at Marjyn Investments, a marijuana growing operation in Oakland, Monday, Sept. 20, 2010.   (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)
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(Newser) – Medical marijuana growers have officially joined the ranks of organized labor—as part of the Teamsters. Almost 40 growers jointed the labor union earlier this month, the AP reports. All of them work for Marjyn Investments, an Oakland business that contracts out pot growth for patients. Thanks to their newly-negotiated contracts, these gardeners, trimmers and cloners will get a pension, paid vacation, and a raise from $18 an hour to $25.75.

“I didn’t have this planned out when I became a Teamster 34 years ago, to organize marijuana workers,” said the man who acted as the growers’ liaison. “This is a whole new ballgame.” He isn’t sure what the union will do if its new members run afoul of federal law enforcement, but says he believes state laws make the industry legitimate. “The Teamsters would never organize an illegal business.”

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