What Do Marijuana, the Teamsters and $54,000 Have In Common?

by Michael Haberman on September 22, 2010 · 0 comments


And the answer is a company called Marjyn Investments LLC located in Oakland, California. Earlier this month the Teamsters, saying membership was waning and they needed more members, organized the 40 employees that grow pot plants for Marjyn Investments, a company that grows marijuana for medicinal purposes. The company did not resist (insert joke about being under the influence) and the Teamsters got the workers a sweet two year contract starting at $18 per hour and moving to $26 per hour in 15 months. Yep you read that right. In just over a year they will be making $54, 040 a year to tend pot plants. I guess the fact that this is pot that has to be given by prescription, thus high prices can be charged, makes it easy to pay such high wages for gardening. The company thought it was a great deal because as they said “… it gives the company a stable, committed workforce in a protected environment.” Where they having turnover problems? And why did the employees feel compeled to call the union. You would think that executives at a marijuana growing operation would be mellow.

Medical marijuana is legal in California, but violates Federal law. That fact did not deter the Teamsters because as Marty Frates of the Teamster Local 70 said “We have had our problems, so we’ve had to diversify” as he talked about membership issues. Of course the Teamsters have long history of not letting the law get in their way.

Proponents of the legalization of marijuana point to this as further legitimizing their move. Opponents call it an embarassment to the State of California and the city of Oakland. Actually they called Oakland an embarassement to the State of California as well. Oakland has one of the country’s laxest attitudes toward marijuana. (Makes one wonder if the smog over Oakland is really from cars or not.)

By the way, the contract negotiated also include benefits and a pension. I wonder if they have some similar benefits to the brewery companies in being able to sample products at lunch and take a case home?

Certainly conjurs up images of Cheech & Chong doesn’t it. Well it would if you were my age.. some of you will have no idea what I am talking about… LOL

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