Michigan Report: Detroit Postpones Vote On Rec Marijuana, Cannabis Workers Unionize With UFCW

The Detroit City Council determined Tuesday that could not move forward with a vote on a marijuana ordinance to authorize recreational dispensaries in the city, reported detroitnews.com. An additional public hearing will be held on April 5 to discuss if the legislation should be changed.

Mayor Pro Tem James Tate proposed an amendment to the city code in February which opens benefits to residents from disproportionately impacted communities. "Unless there are any additional amendments, this would cap it and we can move forward with licensing. We are now seeing light at the end of the tunnel," Tate said.

Councilman Coleman A. Young proposed increasing funding for social equity and expanding the status of equity applicants to any person who has a prior marijuana felony or has been a licensed caregiver growing medicinal marijuana prior to 2017.

"You better believe most of those people are going to apply for Detroit equity or adult-use... We're talking about people who have been systematically, fundamentally, purposely targeted and ravaged by the drug war," Young said.

Kimberly Scott, founder of Chronic City, a Detroit medical marijuana provisioning center (aka dispensary), noted that Black owners of cannabis companies are few and far between.

"Currently in Detroit we have 10 Black-owned, legally state-licensed provisional operators within the city ready to go recreational," said Scott, adding that Black owners of cannabis companies only make up 2% of companies nationwide.

‘Stronger Communities With Stronger Jobs’ Cannabis Workers Unionize

Meanwhile, workers at Authentic 231 a cannabis store property of Left Coast Holdings in Manistee, Michigan, unionized with the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW), becoming the first marijuana retailer to unionize in Michigan, reported UFCW in a press release.

“UFCW 876 looks forward to building a strong relationship with both owners and workers of Authentic 231, in providing job guarantees and protections to this rapidly growing industry.” UFCW 876 president Dan Pedersen said. “It is UFCW 876’s goal this effort serves as a model for sustaining unionizing efforts, by building stronger communities with stronger jobs.”

Pedersen said Left Coast Holdings served as the facilitator in seeking a union for its employees, as well as the development of a Labor Peace Agreement to extend the upcoming bargaining agreement for all locations.

“We, as an ownership group share a lot of the same values as UFCW 876, so it was a natural decision to promote the unionization of our retail assets.” Left Coast Holdings CEO William McKenzie said.

“It’s an exciting time to be in the cannabis industry, and we’re excited to help the UFCW expand their fight for workers’ rights into this burgeoning space. We see our pro-union stance as a great benefit in a state like Michigan,” added McKenzie.


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