United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Western States Council Executive Director Jim Araby has made the following statement on the approval of AB 266 (Bonta/Cooley/Jones-Sawyer) by the Senate Health and Senate Governance and Finance Committees today. The UFCW is the only union in California representing cannabis industry workers, with 1,200 members statewide.
“Licensing and training go hand in hand with public safety. That’s why medical cannabis workers have come together to advocate for standards in their industry, just like other health care professionals. AB 266 improves workforce training and professional standards and, importantly, protections for workers when they speak up for patient safety.
“Although consumers increasingly believe that medical cannabis is harmless, few have expertise in varieties, dosages and other critical information needed to consume cannabis products safely. Cannabis workers are leading the charge for workforce training and licensing provisions contained in AB 266.”
Recent studies have uncovered improperly labeled edible cannabis and high levels of pesticides in some medical cannabis products in California. The regulations contained in AB 266 will provide significant help in correcting these unacceptable threats to consumer safety. A licensed, professionalized workforce is a consumer’s first line of defense every day. Regulators cannot always be there.
AB 266 would establish a regulatory framework that will protect a cannabis workers and consumers. UCFW has advocated for a cannabis worker apprenticeship and certification program to be included in such legislation.