Cannabis Business Association thinks MMJ industry too young to unionize

Categories: Marijuana

kim cordova photo.jpg
Kim Cordova.
Update:After the announcement that Budding Health medical marijuana centers are unionizing, we reached out to the Cannabis Business Association, whose president, Bob Hoban, had said last year it was premature to mandate labor pacts in such a young industry. We've now spoken to Shawn Coleman, interim executive director of the CBA, who echoes this point.

"I believe most people who work in the industry are in the industry for the right reasons," Coleman says. "People are treating each other very well and there's not a big issue of employee abuse. We never tell anyone what to do, and if they feel it is in the best interest of their business and employees to [join the union], that's their decision. But there are more pressing issues we need to be addressing."

Coleman adds that dispensaries should be focusing on more pressing problems, like local bans, moratoriums and other hindrances to business. "It's those practical aspects of running a business that we need to address," he notes. "We should be able to operate like any other business."

Original item, 2:59 p.m. February 15: Employees of the Budding Health medical marijuana centers have signed on with the local United Food and Commercial Workers International Union.

They are the first MMJ workers in Denver to do so.

In an announcement sent out last Friday, UFCW Local 7 president Kim Cordova hints at talks with other shops, saying that she expects employees from "more than a dozen" centers around Denver, Colorado Springs and Boulder to join up in the coming weeks. Medical marijuana is a "significant job creator and a source of much-needed tax revenue" for the state, she notes, adding that "the union is committed to representing the hardworking and compassionate workers in the medical cannabis retail centers and promoting guidelines to safeguard the interest of our members and the communities our members work in."

Though a relatively new idea in Colorado, medical marijuana employees started unionizing in California several years ago. Denver is the second Colorado city to see unionized pot employees; workers at a handful of Fort Collins centers joined the UFCW last October. That partnership was somewhat short-lived, though. Despite the UFCW helping to fight a citywide ban on medical marijuana dispensaries that voters passed in November, Fort Collins is forcing all MMCs to shut down by midnight tonight.

The UFCW is the largest union in Colorado, with more than 25,000 members from the food, retail and health-care industries.

josh stanley photo cropped.JPG
Budding Health's Josh Stanley.
Budding Health owner and Medical Marijuana Industry Group co-founder Josh Stanley says he's supportive of his workers unionizing. "The alliance with Local 7 is a bold step to take back our industry and aggressively implement guidelines and best business practices to further legitimize and stabilize our industry," he says.

But not every supporter of MMJ is a proponent of unionization right now. "The Cannabis Business Alliance is intended to support small and medium-sized businesses in this industry -- not just dispensaries, but supply companies, etc.," CBA president Bob Hoban said last October. "And we're not going to take a position to dictate how and when small businesses should employ people. They should decide on their own how they're going to staff their labor force."

Representatives from the CBA did not have a comment when contacted for this story, beyond saying their position hasn't changed. However, they added that they're working on a response they plan to make public in the next few days.

More from our Marijuana archive: "Medical marijuana retail ban passes in Fort Collins despite union help fighting it."

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homes for sale ft collins
homes for sale ft collins

 After years of selling small amounts of municipal water to construction firms, oil and gas well servicing companies started lining up in November at the town's fire hydrants, earning the community nearly $17,000 in millions of gallons of water sales as of March. 1.

Cannapro40
Cannapro40

sure wish people had better things to do than bash josh stanley. i dont know his business sense but i can say i have seen him go out of his way at his center to help patients time and again. what do all of you people do for a living. i assume you are growing in your basements and not being active in the bureaucratic fight in the legalization of a God D PLANT!

Philo99
Philo99

Q; What do you get when stoned dispensary owners join a union?

A: Workers too lazy to steal.

All 4patients
All 4patients

This is hilarious! there are only like 5 people on here bashing josh stanley over and over. No wonder this plant will NEVER be legal! The people using it are too busy bashing the one active person who is fighting a fine line between retarded lazy people and politicians. Sorry i cant comment anymore, I have a business to run and cancer patients to treat!

joe mama
joe mama

yeah, the one active person. sure thing a-hole. you know, because there is nobody else doing anything is there? CO MMJ needs his activism like i need another tumor. man, things have sure gotten better since he started being active, huh? go fuck yourself as well. what a bunch of douches. do you realize how lame you all look running to defend someone who can't be defended? someone who is part of the small handful of donkey raping shit eaters that killed CO MMJ. giggity go fuck yourself.

Donkey Hotay
Donkey Hotay

I want to state clearly for the record --  "I did not have sexual relations with that man, Mr. Stanley"

Anom
Anom

Josh is by far not the only person advocating MJ in the state. The real people who are at the grass roots level think Josh is a joke, and nothing more than somebody who exploits people for his own personal gain

Guest
Guest

"nothing more than somebody who exploits people for his own personal gain"

says the guy who brags about selling  his dispensary early on for a pretty penny.

cameron pinelli
cameron pinelli

What is wrong with all you people! He is a well spoken brilliant individual who is fighting to keep this industry! Why dont all of you guys get off your couch, stop hitting your bong, and go tell senators and political leaders that this plant should just be legal! Maybe you could pull your pants up too while your at it or even put in some visine you worthless lazy people. and as for josh's staff you should take it from someone who worked with him for over a year. He once sold his car to be able to pay myself and other employees in down times. So maybe you guys need to worry about cleaning your bongs ans stop bashing people who are being active in taking this first step toward legalization of a plant. This is not going to happen over night! Josh is playing the game of chess. You people need to stay home and stick to connect four!

joe mama
joe mama

 fuck josh, fuck matt brown, fuck mmig, FUCK 1284 and go fuck yourself.

Anom
Anom

LMAO! You got your head so far up his ass that if he hangs a hard right you get a broken neck. Keep sucking up, and maybe you can get some more free medicine.

Joshisascumbag
Joshisascumbag

never listen to what Josh Stanley has to say. He is a lying robbing son of a b and needs to go back to his dads testicles where he came from. He only wants to make a name for himself. He never has the patients in mind, he is a business man looking for the quick buck and fuck the compassionate, honest man. 

canna4cancer
canna4cancer

Wow, that's quite an anti-Josh rant.  I have never been in business with him, but as a patient, I have met him and a couple of his brothers.  They were very good to me, and a couple of other patients I know as well.  I don't know about the business stuff, but saying he's never had the patients in mind is not right.

Over-it
Over-it

It's nice to hear that the man and his partner are not without some redeeming value but I didn't know the man could smile without cameras on him. He hasn't been active in budding health due to running all over town with a camera crew with National Geographic. I glad you have seen some benefit but they were bouncing checks to employees and vendors two weeks before Christmas...

Citizen80919
Citizen80919

 how were they bouncing checks?  I thought banks did not deal with medical marijuana dispensaries.

AlsoOverIt
AlsoOverIt

Bouncing checks two weeks before Christmas this year... last year... the year before... Same story, different day. Everyone's his "brother", especially anyone with a greenhouse full of product in a state bordering CO.

Citizen80919
Citizen80919

we all have seen what the unions have done for the automotive industry.  Artificially forcing wages and benefits above the natural labor supply and demand will do nothing but kill an already crippled industry.

Unions are not good for anybody... patients, business owners, or employees.

Over-it
Over-it

Interesting move for a company that is known for seldom, if ever paying their growers... Hardly anyone will grow for them anymore . Anyone else see how the quality of their product keeps dropping day by day? Yet now they want the press for unionizing??? Stanley pulls in $150K a year while his staff have to deal with the calls from creditors that haven't been paid.He is just looking for more free press. The man (and his partners) is a con artist and will get his one day.  

Also-Over-it
Also-Over-it

 I would seriously question the "Stanley pulls in $150k a year" bit. If he is, I imagine it has more to do with his Costa Rican "business investments" than the cash register at Budding Health.

Over-it
Over-it

I've heard investors have walked away because he and his partner would not budge on their salary - and they are paid before any bill or other employee. 

Mark M.
Mark M.

What ever happened with Josh Stanley's embezzlement scandal with MMIG-predecessor group, CMMR?????http://blogs.westword.com/late...

IWasThere
IWasThere

The Denver DA's office reviewed a few hundred pages of bank records and ultimately decided not to prosecute since all the money had been recovered from the unauthorized account before they got involved.

Donkey Hotay
Donkey Hotay

Yet more proof that the best interests -- legal, financial and political -- of individual Patients and private Caregivers are IN DIRECT CONFLICT with those of the Big $$ Retail Dispensary Industry!

Robert Chase
Robert Chase

True enough, but they could coexist if the General Assembly would simply repeal its unconstitutional laws and implement Article XVIII, Section 14 as written.  Dispensaries and individual caregivers were doing just fine legally and financially, and so was the State government -- Suthers had already decided that it was OK to accept sales tax on all the dire Federa; felonies going on in dispensaries, and the money was pouring in

Donkey Hotay
Donkey Hotay

Amendment 20 did NOT authorize Retail Dispensaries.

Amendment 20 did NOT even mention Retail Dispensaries.

Amendment 20 only provided a narrow, limited affirmative defense to Patients and Individual Primary Caregivers, and only for small personal use quantities.

Nothing more, nothing less.

Medicine is NOT taxed in Colorado.Agricultural produce is NOT taxed in Colorado.

Marijuana is either one or both of the above, and therefore should not be subject to tax in Colorado, eliminating the Government's financial interest entirely.

HHS
HHS

WTF is all this yap about MMIG? This article didn't mention the name. I believe people uniting for a common cause of good is an awesome thing to witness and those that have sat on the sideline doing nothing... reminds me of the do nothing nausea sayers in congress that have the lowest approval rating in history. MMIG, Josh and whoever is else TRYING out there, KUDOS!

HHS
HHS

Correction: I stated MMIG was not mentioned. They obviously were named. My thoughts are who cares who took action if the action is for a good cause. I've noticed infighting for years. It's gotten us nowhere while the opposition advances. Thanks.

reality bites
reality bites

my research shows that no employees chose this, it was decided for them by their MMIG overlords who paid their dues as well... this is a non-story and by airing it you aid the Union in their efforts to defraud the patients and make this industry even more handicapped financially.... this is just the latest effort by MMIG to knock off the competition via organized labor instead of providing a level playing field, since their meds are crap. 

Reality Check
Reality Check

MMIG is desperate to branch out and save themselves now that their banking bill flopped and Suthers is taking MMJ apart piece by piece. Don't forget who brought Colorado this mess Josh Stanley and friends.

canna4cancer
canna4cancer

I don't know all the history or rules so I don't understand exactly the mess you say Josh Stanley brought to Colorado.  But I do know he brought me a mess of meds that I needed and otherwise couldn't afford.  I see and hear so much fighting in mmj.  I've seen several personal attacks on Josh in these comments, but I don't care about whether he is right about this or that law or ordinance.  I'm glad that some people in mmj are still helping patients like me to get affordable medicine, instead of constantly bitching at other dispinsary owners.

kanelaw
kanelaw

I have worked with many people in the industry, Josh Stanley included.  I have seen people bash him and a couple others over and over.  The fact is that regulation was coming, and a few center owners, including Josh, got active with the state to give input.  It doesn't matter who those center owners were, I knew that they would bear the blame for new regulation.  People can bash the industry leaders till they're blue in the face, but I know most of these outspoken center owners and I applaud them for doing something to try to keep regulation reasonable. 

Anom
Anom

I admit to giving him money you fucking idiot! And I admit it was stupid to give it to his facade organization. The shop I opened was opened long before Peace in Medicine was around, and it will be around for a long time, as it is one of only 4 allowed in the jurisdiction it's in.So just to reiterate Josh's original organization was supposed to help out and be the voice for the smaller shops, as one collective. I owned one of the shops that was an original contributor to his organization. Then Josh and Matt Cook changed the name of the organization, as well as it's agenda! They offered nothing in the way of refund for the misrepresentation. They were in favor of regulation that put lots of people out of business, and created lots of hardships for lots of patients. So in summary if you want to follow and support the Josh Stanley parade good for you. Maybe he will give you some of his free weed that he promises to all you leaches. If you really want to get your head inserted farther up his ass then you can watch him on TV tonight, and tell everyone what a fantastic show it is. Beyond that I will stay outta the dispensary business in Colorado. I already made my $$$ and I am having a much better time with my businesses that I have owned for the last 20 years.

Jerome
Jerome

 Donkey_Hotay is Laura Khiro of Cannabis Therapy Institute. She/They are trying to legalize cannabis like oregano.

Hope that helps.

Guest
Guest

 "Josh took funds from lots of MMJ centers and said he was representing them, and wanted to be the voice for the small guy, then he changed his stance, and got behind the regulation that ran lots of smaller shops outta business!. I know this because I owned one of those centers."

you admit to him running you out of business in a post we all can see and read and then call me the twit? hysterical.

Donkey Hotay
Donkey Hotay

Quite telling that a paid mouthpiece for the avaricious big $$ dispensary clowns would refer to Patients and Caregivers as "greedy and illegitimate folks".

Patients and Individual Caregivers were doing just fine for 8+ years until your carpet-bagging clown clients bum-rushed into the state and proceeded to destroy everything Amendment 20 was created to protect.

Anom
Anom

He didn't run me outta business you twit! He took money under the ruse that his organization was going to represent the small shops and provide a voice for everyone. After we all helped fund that, then the asshole along with Matt Cook changed the strategy by changing the name to CMMR. They never offered any refunds or explinations, just stole our money and used it for their own agenda! As far as their agenda they tried to create regulation that would force smaller businesses out because they couldn't addord the costs of the licenses, the security among other things. They were successful in getting some small mom and pop shops to close their doors.As far as capitalism I sold my dispensary for an amazing profit in 2010 just before the new regulations! I also own several other businesses, as well as a ranch in Montana. I would be willing to bet I made more money already this year than most people will make in the entire year. So I think I have the capitalism thing down quite well.  

kanelaw
kanelaw

You are still proving my point.  This is the first time a legislature has tried to regulate mmj.  If you think 1284 is unreasonable, you should've seen what was coming down the pike had center owners like Stanley, among others, not gotten involved.  Cry all you want about not making the grade, but a bureaucratic government like ours was never going to let the caregiver model last.  There are a lot of bitter and sore loosers out there who will never know what really went down to create an industry that the government would ultimately allow to succeed.  Greedy and illegitimate folks who are being kicked out of mmj would rather see the black market succeed with record numbers of patients being prosecuted, than make way for the only way mmj could make it through our government. 

Guest
Guest

 why do you lie?

Guest
Guest

he ran you out of business? take some fucking ownership in your life.

what you meant to say is that you couldn't compete. that's capitalism and you clearly aren't very good at it.

Donkey Hotay
Donkey Hotay

There's nothing "reasonable" about HB1284.

The financial interests of greedy, big $$ retail dispensaries were promoted over the best interests of Patients and Individual Primary Caregivers as originally authorized by Amendment 20.

Anom
Anom

Josh took funds from lots of MMJ centers and said he was representing them, and wanted to be the voice for the small guy, then he changed his stance, and got behind the regulation that ran lots of smaller shops outta business!. I know this because I owned one of those centers.Josh Stamley, and Matt Cook can both kiss my ass! Josh started his shop by buying product from CA and growing in all of his former rental properties. Then after he made enough $$$ he tried to put his competition outta businessHe is nothing more than a crook!

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