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UFCW Endorses Marijuana Legalization Initiative to Protect Consumers and Workers

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The United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Western States Council and the Cannabis Workers Rising Campaign have announced their endorsement for Proposition 64 – the Adult Use of Marijuana Act – noting that the initiative offers an important opportunity to professionalize the cannabis industry workforce and provide vital consumer and workplace protections. Proposition 64 will appear on the Nov. 8, 2016, statewide ballot.

The UFCW is the only union representing cannabis workers in California. The organization has been a leader in helping to ensure workers in the industry are trained and educated to ensure compliance and high-quality assurance for consumers and patients.

“With these regulations in place, and the leadership behind this initiative, California consumers can be assured they will get safe products and workers entering this new industry will have the opportunity to gain important protections through collective bargaining,” said UFCWWSC Executive Director Jim Araby. “We are committed to helping work for this initiative’s passage using our considerable resources including door-to-door voter outreach, organizing and other support.”

UFCW led efforts to regulate the cultivation, sale and distribution of medical cannabis in California, signed into law last fall by Gov. Jerry Brown.

Proposition 64 would allow adults ages 21 and older to possess, transport and use up to an ounce of marijuana for recreational purposes and would allow individuals to grow as many as six plants. If approved, California would join Colorado, Washington, Alaska and Oregon as states that allow recreational use of marijuana.

“This initiative is the result of years of hard work and collaboration among leaders, including Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, who are looking out for the best interest of California’s residents and workers,” Araby said. “California can be a leader with this model for the safe, responsible legalization of marijuana.”

Newsom has long been a leading advocate for regulation and workforce training and protections to help ensure product safety and safeguard against youth access, black market operations and unethical dispensary operators.

“UFCW has played a critical role in California’s Blue Ribbon Commission on Marijuana Policy, in the thoughtful drafting of Proposition 64 and in standing up across our state and the nation for the rights of workers in the emerging cannabis industry,” Newsom said. “Thanks to their leadership, California has the opportunity to create a safe, legal and regulated market that also creates good jobs for Californians.”

The United Food and Commercial Workers Western States Council is the regional coordinating body of 11 UFCW local unions representing over 200,000 workers in California, Arizona, Nevada and Utah. The Council is a part of the 1.2 million member strong UFCW International Union. UFCW members are standing together to improve the lives of workers, families and communities.