On July 14, the UFCW welcomed the Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act discussion draft as an important first step to modernizing federal cannabis regulations. Our union also emphasized that the proposed legislation, which was unveiled by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Senators Cory Booker (New Jersey) and Ron Wyden (Oregon), must help create an even playing field so more states and communities can tap the economic potential of the growing industry, which supports 321,000 American jobs across the country. The UFCW represents more than 10,000 cannabis workers nationwide.
Our union praised the Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act’s provisions to deschedule cannabis, expand banking access for cannabis businesses, and outline a framework to address restorative justice measures. Our union also urged both Republicans and Democrats to work together to expand the framework to include provisions that strengthen jobs and protections for current cannabis workers, address issues with current licensing requirements, and increase research funding to support worker safety and apprenticeships in the industry.
“America’s cannabis workers proudly serve their communities every day, helping patients across the country get the care they need and powering the economic growth that so many states are achieving as they modernize the current laws on the books,” said UFCW International President Marc Perrone in a statement. “Today’s new cannabis legalization plan from Senators Schumer, Wyden, and Booker is an important first step, but more must be done to address the challenges cannabis workers face and the need to make sure the industry supports good-paying union jobs our families need.”
“Cannabis worker safety and apprenticeships must be a top priority and any federal legislation needs to dedicate funding to further research for these priorities,” Perrone added. “Congress must also ensure this cannabis legislation respects current state laws while also preventing the industry from moving high-wage union jobs from one state to low-wage agricultural jobs in another state. As America’s largest cannabis workers union, the UFCW welcomes this new proposal and urges members of Congress – both Republicans and Democrats – to build on this framework and pass a strong bipartisan bill that establishes a national cannabis policy that ends outdated approaches holding so many communities back. Now is the time for Congress to embraces the economic potential of this industry and act to create the millions of good American jobs our families need.”