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Episode 11 - Which Side Are You On?


In this episode, Scott and Miranda delve into the topic of unions in the cannabis industry.





Episode Links:


Transcript:

[MUSIC: "Union Man" by Neil Young]


Miranda 0:10

Hello, and welcome to The Heady Conversations with Scott and Miranda.


Scott 0:15

Welcome back, folks. Time is just flying on by we are officially in spring.


Miranda 0:22

Yes as of today


Scott 0:23

As of today, right.


Miranda 0:24

Welcome.


Scott 0:26

The other side of the Worm Moon, right.


Miranda 0:29

Yeah.


Scott 0:30

The moon we just had. Yeah. I can hear the birds outside the sun is shining. Going to be in DC this weekend for the cherry blossom festival.


Miranda 0:41

Nice.


Scott 0:41

Yeah.


Miranda 0:42

That sounds lovely.


Scott 0:43

Things are things are happening. So we are here to talk to you about the happenings in cannabis.


Miranda 0:51

Yeah.


Scott 0:52

Yeah. Various round up of things that have caught our interest or things that are going on in the cannabis industry. And in this case, we are here to talk to you about organized labor.


Miranda 1:09

Unions and unionizing.


Scott 1:12

Yeah, and what that means, you know, as far as cannabis is concerned, and just generally. Yeah, yeah.


Miranda 1:22

Because there's been a lot happening in the world of cannabis in regards to unions, and union busting. And it's been a fascinating journey to watch. Several dispensaries work really hard on unions, get their bargains and see it through. But it's also at the same time very disappointing to see those that get hoodwinked by, by their owners.


Scott 1:51

Now, yeah, and it's no small business of union busting, there's a lot of money being made by labor lawyers and marketing people and influencers to help in some of these cases. There was some pretty famous activity out with Verano and Illinois, where they had hired a couple different firms--


Miranda 2:25

So much money.


Scott 2:27

Yeah. Which, of course, begs the question, right? If if unions are being fought so hard by the owners, why is that? And you know, at this point, we've got unions in place in a number of states, and a number of different aspects of the market. Right. Where we've got entirely different types of unions in some markets, representing different facets of the industry. I know for instance, out in Yeah, again, I think it's Illinois. You have three different unions. The UFCW, the SEIU and the OMINA, I think.


Miranda 3:25

I think I think you're right.


Scott 3:27

Something like that Union of Operating, International Union of Operating Engineers. Anyway, you know, representing different people, whether it be the growers, or the people that work at the dispensaries or the people that, like lab technicians and people like that are represented by different unions in different places. But what we've seen now is that studies have shown that, you know, right to work in general, is more beneficial for companies than it is for workers, right states where they have right to work. There are lower wages, less benefits, you know, higher cost, and less return on that money spent for things like health insurance.


Miranda 4:21

Absolutely.


Scott 4:22

Lack of things like paid time off.


Miranda 4:26

I mean, education.


Scott 4:29

Yeah, right. Not even to mention, yeah. Reimbursement for education. Not even just industry specific education, but also general in general, if I want to go to college, maybe I want to take a Masters of Business Program at the University of Maryland.


Miranda 4:47

My mother's nursing degree was paid by my grandfather's union.


Scott 4:50

Yeah.


Miranda 4:51

Yeah.


Scott 4:53

And these are these are things that clearly, you know, credit unions access to credit unions ya know, better...


Miranda 4:59

Which means better percentages of returns on your money.


Scott 5:05

Not only better percentages on return on your money, but also access to different types of loans, and lines of credit. Yeah, things like that, that that are helpful when it comes to buying cars--


Miranda 5:19

That aren't generally accessible to the public.


Scott 5:28

Yeah, certainly not to the public, in general, but also specifically not to young people without college degrees, you know, working in what is essentially a retail like environment. You know, I mean, these are, these are benefits above and beyond what you could expect to find absolutely, even in very well established retail organizations. You know, I'm not saying there aren't good retail jobs that exist out there, for sure. Or even that every cannabis job is--


Miranda 6:04

A retail job.


Scott 6:05

A retail job, or that, you know, people aren't being, you know, compensated appropriately everywhere. There are certainly places where--


Miranda 6:12

There are many dispensaries out there that pay a decent wage.


Scott 6:21

Yeah, and there's different models, too, right?


Miranda 6:23

Absolutely.


Scott 6:24

Some dispensaries allow tipping, encourage tipping, some do not allow or encouraged tipping. You know, certain places are still all cash. So all tips are in cash versus places that have switched over now to--


Miranda 6:43

I don't think you can add a tip on any of the digital transactions.


Scott 6:49

Really?


Miranda 6:49

Yeah, I think that is solely just for the transaction. You may get back, if they have to round it up. You may get back a few dollars in cash. But they're not allowing you to write in a tip.


Scott 7:01

Okay. I was not aware of that.


Miranda 7:03

Yeah.


Scott 7:04

Well, that makes sense, then. So I guess all tips are still cash. But yeah, some places do not allow you to tip their employees. And if you go to tip your budtender, they will tell you. And then there are some I think well, I don't want to name them because I'm not positive.


Miranda 7:21

We did talk about not naming dispensary [laughing]


Scott 7:23

Right. Well, again, you know, this is a program rather than a, you know, talking about them specifically, but they they donate all of their tips, quote unquote, that you--


Miranda 7:35

Oh, yeah.


Scott 7:36

To an animal rescue. So...


Miranda 7:40

I think there's a dispensary that I've been to that rotates their, their tips for donation.


Scott 7:45

Cool.


Miranda 7:45

Which I think is pretty cool.


Scott 7:47

Yeah, sure. As long as you're paying your people.


Miranda 7:49

Right.


Scott 7:50

Like, that's totally great. But yeah, I mean, you know, you you want to talk about what these unions have done in different places. So New Jersey is a state in particular, where unions have kind of been built into the fabric of what they're doing up there with adult use and, or recreational use, whichever, you know, I prefer adult use personally.


Miranda 8:18

Yeah, I found it really interesting that they were just sort of like, yeah, and these dispensaries have unions. It wasn't even like, oh, we have to go and get a union. It was like almost an automatic thing up in New Jersey.


Scott 8:31

Well, they actually got a seat on the New Jersey cannabis commission.


Miranda 8:37

Oh, word.


Scott 8:39

So the it's an it's the CEED cannabis engineers extractors and distributors local 420 which is a, I guess, you would say a subsidiary of IUJAT which again, is the International Union of Journeyman of Allied Trades. So just a general journeyman. Yeah, professional working union.


Miranda 9:14

I love that.


Scott 9:14

Right, because that's what unions are about. Unions are about treating jobs as professions. Right, yeah. And acknowledging that people are not just replaceable cogs in a machine.


Miranda 9:27

Exactly.


Scott 9:28

That can be swapped in and out at the whim of the employer, you know, in states that are right to work states, it goes ahead and creates a working contract, where you know, you are already obligated to do certain things for your employer.


Miranda 9:45

Right.


Scott 9:45

You know, when you become an employee of a company, you essentially agreed to the terms of their contract which is, you know, you will show up at this time, you will, you know, appear this way. These are your responsabilities within this framework, you know, there might be some wiggle room here or there. But generally speaking, you are agreeing to terms on what they have defined as your job, which is all well and good. Absolutely, you're cool with your compensation and your responsibilities and, you know, those that are expected of you and the way things are being run, then that's excellent.


Miranda 10:25

But the thing that a union does is it actually gives your employer a contract to also hold up on their end in regards to you, right.


Scott 10:34

So generally speaking, that means changing you to a for cause employee instead of an at will employee. So at that point, you can still be fired by the employer, of course, it's there, absolutely. But you can only be fired if they can prove that you haven't done your job, the way you were supposed to be doing their job. And that if if you're not doing your job properly, that you've been talked to about the fact that you're--


Miranda 11:06

There's documentation.


Scott 11:07

Yeah, there's documentation of this fact. And there's been some sort of counseling a or you know, coaching or something remediation or what have you on there end to make sure that you've got the tools and the know how and support to do your job and the way they're saying that you're not, right. So pretty standard stuff, right? I mean, nothing, nothing ridiculous, not, you know, we're gonna protect lazy people, or we're gonna protect unsafe people, or we're gonna protect people that, you know, are trying to sabotage what the company is doing. Just general, generally speaking, we've got our end to hold up. And now you company have your end to hold up as well.


Miranda 11:56

Exactly. And that just, I mean, I think a lot of a lot of the industry decided to unionize during COVID.


Right, because they were seeing unsafe work environments, they were seeing, you know, all of these different restrictions, and then they would lift restrictions, and it was just kind of this uphill battle of madness with COVID-19.


Scott 12:25

Things, obviously, were there were moving parts. They were moving pieces, but yeah, there were some things that were very basic, like notifying people. If, if someone in the workplace had tested positive, right, you know, we're talking about dispensaries and we're talking about here in Maryland, medical dispensaries because we don't have adult use here yet in this state. So anyone that's coming to a dispensary is potentially immunocompromised, potentially receiving life saving treatment.


Miranda 13:04

Or is a caregiver for someone who is receiving a treatment and is picking up their medication. So...


Scott 13:12

So yeah, I mean, so to not tell people that came in contact with COVID positive people you know, to not tell other co workers Yeah, they had been working next to COVID positive people. I think that that was a pretty common occurrence in the workplaces.


Miranda 13:31

I agree.


Scott 13:33

I mean, you know, we heard about restaurants that had to close because they were understaffed. I don't think a lot of those dispensary owners wanted to close their doors when it's a pretty known fact that...


Miranda 13:48

COVID-19 has been like two of the years of the highest sales--


Scott 13:53

Absolutely.


Miranda 13:54

In medical cannabis in Maryland. But I mean, I saw on both sides I saw dispensaries who were overwhelmingly cautious. And then I saw just the absolute opposite. So both ends of the spectrum were completely represented in the industry.


Scott 14:11

Yeah, right. Some places went to pick up only, some places severely limited the amount of people that were allowed in the store, places you know stepped up their cleaning procedures and things like that.


Miranda 14:25

We have one place that has a drive thru Yeah.


Scott 14:29

There were there were a lot of different there were places plenty of places and it's not an all or nothing right to save any place wasn't necessarily responsible doesn't mean that they weren't doing anything correctly.


Miranda 14:43

Exactly.


Scott 14:44

But yeah, you know, a union just make sure that if, if there's a thing to be considered first and foremost, it's the safety of the workers.


Miranda 14:55

Right.


Scott 14:56

And and there's nothing I don't know. I'm getting lost here.


Miranda 15:04

It's okay. It's, it's okay. That no, there's there's absolutely nothing that, you know, you should have a, you should have a place at the table with your employer.


Scott 15:19

Right


Miranda 15:20

In some way, shape or form, you should be able to go to your employer, state your case without being dismissed. And I think that that's a huge part of why unions are becoming a bigger part of the fabric of our country now.


Scott 15:37

Literally or figuratively dismissed. Well, unfortunately, unions overall are on a pretty large decline because of the shrinking industries and which unions have traditionally been so strong.


Miranda 15:53

Right, like the automobile industry, etc.


Scott 15:56

Manufacturing.


Miranda 15:57

Yeah. Manufacturing


Scott 15:58

Manufacturing period. But also, yeah, I mean, trades as well as, as larger companies gobble up smaller, you know.


Miranda 16:10

sure. But at the same time, you know, longshoremen still have their union. The railroad still has their union, teamsters are still going strong,


Scott 16:20

Locally here and in Baltimore, Maryland Institute College for the Arts, MICA just, you know, I think successfully, yes. managed to campaign to unionize their employees, I think.


Miranda 16:33

Yes.


Scott 16:35

But, yeah, so unions, it's not just about the cannabis industry, for sure. But when we're talking about the cannabis industry, we're talking about basically, an industry where as we just said, you know, profits have been unhinged, just kind of spiraling upwards since COVID began. And that's only going to continue to increase here in states like Maryland, where we still have adult use on the way, which is obviously going to open the market up to hundreds of millions of additional customers across the country, as these additional states come online as as adult use states. The cannabis industry is one of the fastest growing segments of the American and soon to be I predict the international economy. I just agree. You know, I read an article shortly after the first of the year that talked about how cannabis had moved up into the top. I don't think it's in the top five yet, but it's definitely in the top 10. And I want to say it's towards the bottom


Miranda 17:45

of those top.


Scott 17:46

Towards the bottom 5 of the top 10. I want to say it's maybe like number six. And that's not to say, the most employees, but the fastest growing like absolutely the most amount of jobs added in the last year, two years, whatever it is, across these different segments of American industry. So you know, if you read an article about unionizing at a local dispensary, or a local grow, or whatever, in your area, it's it's not really just about that dispensary, right? This is still a unit or an industry that's in its infancy.


Miranda 18:28

Absolutely.


Scott 18:28

Now, I mean, it's as old as cannabis is, and as long as humans have been using cannabis. You know, as we talked about, on the the War on Drugs episode, you know, this prohibition has been going on for almost 100 years now, right here in the United States and basically internationally at the same time. So this is this is essentially a brand new market for one of the oldest commodities in the world.


Miranda 18:57

Absolutely.


Scott 18:58

So laws are changing. Creators, fortunes are being made overnight.


Miranda 19:06

Yeah.


Scott 19:06

You know, tycoons are, you know, coming into existence. You know, we've mentioned before 60% of the American or the Maryland dispensary market is now owned by MSOs. Right and and other states seem to follow in a similar trajectory where, you know, when the state first opens up its market it's predominantly if not entirely, local companies or, you know, like 80%, 90%, local companies with one or two of these MSOs right, able to get in and acquire a license but then as the attrition of the market happens, you know, not everybody's cut out for every industry. There's definitely a learning curve.


Miranda 19:50

100% and education, though there's a lot of lack of education in the industry.


Scott 19:53

There's a ton of--


Miranda 19:55

And that's like one of my biggest complaints.


Scott 19:58

There's a ton of a lack of education. There's also a ton of lack of research. Yeah. But then over time, you see states move towards this model where MSOs come in and buy up different dispensaries. And generally, they are not necessarily union houses, although here in Baltimore Vireo is a Union House. So, I believe the only Union House in Maryland.


Miranda 20:37

As far as budtenders go, yes. It's the only one.


Scott 20:44

Okay.


Miranda 20:45

I believe there are two or three growers that have unions.


Scott 20:50

That's excellent.


Miranda 20:50

Yeah.


Scott 20:52

Yeah. And I mean, I know, some dispensaries here in Maryland have attempted to unionize and failed. I know, Blair Wellness was moving towards a vote, but then ended up canceling.


Miranda 21:02

They had to pull it.


Scott 21:03

Because they didn't have the votes for it. You know, people spoke up, you know, in the process.


Miranda 21:10

Yeah.


Scott 21:11

We don't want to go forward with this. So they, they moved away from it. Star Buds recently had a vote--


Miranda 21:18

And lost it.


Scott 21:19

Lost that vote for unionization. So they will continue to be a non union house. Yeah, it's not just about your local dispensary. It's about the industry overall. And what types of jobs? You want to see.


Miranda 21:37

Yeah, because the industry is so young still, that there's really no industry standard.


Scott 21:43

There's a huge opportunity to make this an industry where people can turn jobs into careers.


Miranda 21:51

Yeah.


Scott 21:51

You know.


Miranda 21:52

And I believe that a lot of people who enter this industry, do it because they love it.


Scott 21:58

Right.


Miranda 21:58

And they want to be part of it. And they're passionate about it. And yeah, they want they want to be in it for the long haul. But as things go, and I see I watched jobs, on, you know, Indeed, or whatever. The wages aren't there to keep you there.


Scott 22:20

Certainly not everywhere.


Miranda 22:21

I mean, in a few places. Absolutely.


Scott 22:24

Well, there's a huge disparity, right. And I mean, that's the reality, if you're, if you're working at, you know, a slow dispensary out in a rural area where, you know, you're you're not doing a ton of heavy lifting, quote, unquote.


Miranda 22:44

And you may see 10-15 patients a shift...


Scott 22:48

Right, then then that's one thing, if you're in a urban area where you're seeing, you know, dozens of patients in a shift, people are coming in, you know, hot and heavy in some cases, and you know, you... COVID has been tough.


Miranda 23:09

There, it's been tough on a lot of industries, that I feel like our, our industry, the cannabis industry has really taken a hit.


Scott 23:18

Yeah, well--


Miranda 23:19

It's any because it never closed.


Scott 23:22

Sure. Right. As an essential industry in most states. I think a few states did briefly pause or go to delivery only or pick up only and things like that. But yeah, like you said Maryland never closed some dispensaries never closed their doors never stopped seeing patients never stopped having direct patient interaction. It just changed. Yeah, obviously, there was social distancing. And there were masked mandates, which I think most dispensaries are still requiring here in Baltimore, even though the statewide mask mandate has gone right. And I'm seeing less and less people in stores and even you know, just walking into restaurants or whatever wearing masks. The dispensaries I've been in recently people have still been required.


Miranda 24:12

Absolutely


Scott 24:13

Do so.


Miranda 24:13

Yeah.


Scott 24:13

And rightfully so. Right.


Miranda 24:16

Anytime you're dealing with someone who potentially is ill.


Scott 24:21

Yeah, Immunocompromised


Miranda 24:23

Immunocompromised.


Scott 24:24

Right.


Miranda 24:26

Yeah.


Scott 24:26

Or, or caregivers, as we said, you know, it Yeah, it's irresponsible. Honestly.


Miranda 24:34

Especially for a medical setting.


Scott 24:35

Yeah, we're still in a pandemic. The numbers are good. We're not in the middle of, you know, a huge crazy right now knock on wood, but we still are in the middle of a pandemic. But yeah, you know, there's there's still an opportunity in this industry to carve out and control what these jobs look like. And if you look at what some of these unions have accomplished in different states where they've been established different locations where they've been established. You know, you see things like, you know, multi year contracts.


Miranda 25:12

100%.


Scott 25:13

Right. So one of the things that you'll hear is that oh, well, you have to negotiate and renegotiate all the time. Well, no you actually--


Miranda 25:20

Only if like your dispensary aquires another dispensary or acquires a grow will, you need to renegotiate your contract.


Scott 25:28

Right. Usually, you would write something and where if the nature of the business changes, then you might renegotiate. But otherwise, yeah, you're looking at multi year deals. That layout clearly what's expected and and the compensation that you're going to receive, in turn, people have gotten, you know, percentage raises guaranteed every year.


Miranda 25:50

And again, this all comes from a negotiation between you and your employer, right, you're not just calling the shots on this, your employer isn't just calling the shots on this, the two of you are sitting down at a table and bargaining, right, for what benefits both of you.


Scott 26:07

Yeah. And I mean, of course, you know, hopefully, you work in a place where you can walk into your employers office and say, hey, you know what, you know, I've been working really hard, like, I saw this ad online, where they're hiring down the street for people at $18 an hour.


Miranda 26:26

Can we have a conversation about this?


Scott 26:28

You know and maybe your employers willing to have that conversation. Maybe they're not. But at the same time, like, I don't know, maybe everybody else that does that job in the same place should get that same amount of money too? Maybe everybody shouldn't have to bargain and explain individually. And hope that you know, I mean, certain people's personalities just aren't.


Miranda 26:58

Yeah.


Scott 26:58

That way, you know, certain people just aren't necessarily comfortable advocating for themselves. Or if they are, and it's in an at will state somebody can agree to whatever they want and then turn around and not fullfill those promises.


Miranda 27:15

Exactly. Yeah.


Scott 27:17

I mean, it's, it's, that's the definition of at will you are there at the will of your employer, they can let you go, because they decided they don't like that shirt that you wore today or because they decide that, you know, they don't like the way you advocate for yourself.


Miranda 27:38

Or you were two minutes late.


Scott 27:40

Yeah. Which, you know, okay, sure, you shouldn't be late to work, but things happen. Everybody's late to work. I'm sure your boss is probably late to work on a regular basis themselves. If they even show up to work, because a lot of these dispensary owners aren't even there, you know, they're absentee owners. They're off vacationing or, you know, paying people poverty wages to--


Miranda 28:08

Run a multimillion dollar store.


Scott 28:09

Babysit their staff while they, you know, go enjoy life or what have you. But anyway, yeah, I mean, we're talking about multi year deals with guaranteed raises, we're talking about better benefits, whether it be you know, seniority based time off, where you're earning more time off the longer that they're there, or getting--


Miranda 28:37

Better health insurance, right?


Scott 28:39

Where you're getting better benefits for for less money spent. In other words, you're your employer covering larger percentages of benefits.


Miranda 28:49

And even the the union has health insurance.


Scott 28:52

Sure.


Miranda 28:52

If if, whatever. Wherever you're working isn't providing what you want. You can go to the union and say, Hey, I don't like what my employer is providing for me. What do you got? The Union definitely provides health insurance. So there's just I mean, if you if you if one person isn't given it to you, you can get it from somewhere.


Scott 29:18

Right.


Miranda 29:19

That's what I'm trying to say. Um, but yeah, I mean, there's there are so many benefits. I mean, just education. Time off, work life balance. Yeah. But yeah, a lot of people don't want unions.


Scott 29:42

No, a lot of people don't want unions. A lot of people have become convinced that unions don't represent them or that union organizers are lazy profiteers.


Miranda 30:01

Or shiller's, you know, one of my favorite shilling for the Union. Yeah, and union money.


Scott 30:07

You know, the purpose of a union is to provide you with counsel to provide you with resources to provide you with backing


Miranda 30:19

And just a general place at the table. Right.


Scott 30:23

You know, power in numbers. UFCW represents. I think the latest estimate is over 13,000 workers across the United States. You're talking about San Diego, you're talking about? Illinois, you're talking about like we said, Jersey,


Miranda 30:42

Delaware? Yeah, Pennsylvania,


Scott 30:45

Vireo. Here in Maryland. You know, it's it's a big movement. Like we said, There's big money being spent to counteract the movement. Just just educate yourselves.


Miranda 31:05

Absolutely.


Scott 31:06

Before you vote one way or another, on a union opportunity, if it's presented to you, make sure you educate yourself on the history of unions and what they've done for workers, not only in this country, but around the world, with the populist workers movement as done. And it's, you know, it's funny, I feel like a lot of people that are involved in the cannabis industry are probably what they would call liberal or progressive people.


Miranda 31:38

Right.


Scott 31:40

You know, I mean, we've talked before about how minority licenses in Maryland and in other places do not always translate into black minority ownership.


Miranda 31:54

Absolutely.


Scott 31:55

So, you know, the ownership of most of these companies tends to be mostly white, and mostly male for the well.


Miranda 32:07

Yeah, unless they have, oh, my God, God, a minority contract.


Scott 32:13

Right. Minority license. Yeah. The union movement, the workers movement has been a integral part of civil rights in this country. As long as civil rights has been a thing, right. You know, Martin Luther King, Jr. didn't get assassinated until he started talking about workers rights. Yeah. And economic equality and economic equity and economic justice, and started attracting the attention of white people and getting more people involved. It's, it's a shame that people don't draw the connection, but absolutely. Their rights as a worker and their rights as a person overall. Yeah. If you look at how many hours were expected to put in with an employer over the course of a week, over the course of a month over the course of a year, over the course of our lives. Yeah, yeah, it's it's pretty important. I think.


Miranda 33:28

I just think generally, the equality in the workplace is the most important thing. I believe that that seat at the bargaining table is the most important thing. Because I don't want my employer to have all of my rights in their hands.


Scott 33:44

Absolutely not. I you know, regardless of how much you're paying me, there are certain things that yeah, all people are due in this world. Yeah. And that's time to rest and relax and recharge, especially during a pandemic. That's honest information about their workplace and the people that they're working around. You know, that's a safe workspace. You know, I mean, we're talking about legal cannabis, we're talking about a cash industry, where customers are walking in and out with cash.


Miranda 34:24

With a lot of cash.


Scott 34:24

A lot of walking in and out with product, which is worth a lot of cash. You know, I mean, if somebody is walking out of a dispensary with a bag in their hand, then you know what's in that bag in their hand. There should be security to watch those people from the time they, you know, pull up on the property until the time that they leave, to ensure that they're safe and protected and nothing bad happens to them while they're there. And the same for employees. You know, there's been a whole wave of violence towards dispensary workers and industry workers.


Miranda 34:25

Absolutely.


Scott 34:25

Trucks getting pulled over and hijacked in California dispensaries getting robbed.


Miranda 35:13

Being driven into dispensaries in Maryland.


Scott 35:16

Yeah. Well that's that's true to shout out to the Hampden dispensaries that, two in one night right a guy or several guys I guess I shouldn't make assumptions I don't know several people both tried to drive vehicles through dispensary walls and break into dispensaries here in Baltimore while the pandemic was going on.


Miranda 35:41

But yeah, California people are being held up, Colorado happens all the time, Seattle. So I have a buddy out there who every time he goes to the dispensary talks to the people who are there. They're like, Oh, yeah, we just got held up again last night. And I'm like, What are you doing to protect your people? Why aren't these people in a union? Why haven't they started unionizing out there? But I guess it's it's easier to do on the ground floor. In some aspects, when everything is building up, then going back and fixing it.


Scott 36:19

Absolutely. Yeah. I mean, if, you know, as somebody who's coming from the food and beverage industry, if we could go back in time, and it's, look, there are places in this country where food and beverages unionized. You know, we talked to Brittany from B Baked out in Las Vegas.


Miranda 36:37

Las Vegas has a huge union.


Scott 36:38

Yeah, I mean, when I went to visit her the first time she was like, oh, yeah, she was like, I've got paid vacation. You know, I've got access to education money and decent benefits. And yeah, yeah, I mean, that's, that's why she went to work for gaming companies in the first place is because she knew that if she got a job with, I don't want to name the casino here in Baltimore, because, frankly, I'm not a big supporter of casinos, generally. But she knew that if she went and got a job with them here and got on board with their union, that she could use that to transfer out to a union job in Vegas, probably. And that's exactly what she did. Yeah, and I mean, she had nothing but positive things to say about her union experience. I know. You've got family members that come from a union background? Of course, I do as well.


Miranda 37:39

Well, I think, you know, a large part of that comes from the whole immigrant aspect. So you have people who come here from somewhere else, they're citizens. Well, my family became citizens. And then they started working for places, they were tradesmen. So they started working, you know, with unions. And that's how, I don't know my Italian grandparents. And my Polish grandparents got everybody through college, they raised their kids.


Scott 38:11

Unions built the middle class.


Miranda 38:13

They did. My one grandmother only went to work because she liked the social social aspect of it.


Scott 38:20

Unions took jobs that would have been otherwise low, paying menial, quote unquote, jobs, where people were just swap them in, swap them out, you know, doesn't matter how many millions of dollars of product they've sold for a company doesn't matter how many customers they've got that, you know, they've got personal relationships with that they've helped by recommending medicine or, you know, giving great information about you know, whether it's different delivery methods available or different dosages or you know, just whatever, you know, as a bud tender and a patient, you develop a pretty strong rapport similar with, you know--


Miranda 39:10

Similar to a bartender,


Scott 39:11

Yeah, similar to a bartender, I don't I don't love I don't love alcohol and cannabis, but more than likely adult use cannabis will be treated very similarly to alcohol here in this country. Because that's generally what Canada is kind of done with it up there as well. And yeah, I just--


Miranda 39:37

yeah, it's okay. Where were we? Where were we? bartending, Bud tending? Oh, the relationship relationship, right. Okay.


Scott 39:51

So yeah. If you believe that budtenders are just essentially retail personnel. and there's no need for education of the plant or the product, or terpenes, or cannabinoids or what any of that means or what it may or may not do for people who are experiencing different symptoms or seeking different experiences than sure.


Unknown Speaker 40:25

Yeah.


Scott 40:26

Yeah. No.


Miranda 40:26

I mean, I know you and I have been in the, the industry for I mean, pretty much close to the same time. But you and I have also sought out so much more education on our own because it wasn't being provided from anywhere else.


Scott 40:42

And most people do not do that.


Miranda 40:45

Right.


Scott 40:46

I could count on one hand. I feel like the amount of people that I worked with, that had also, you know, done any sort of like, formal cannabis education or yeah, regularly did any sort of cannabis reading or even listening to podcasts, or whatever else.


Miranda 41:12

It astounds me because because it's medical, that there isn't a standard of education for budtenders.


Scott 41:20

Right. And obviously, we're not doctors, we're not practicing medicine. We're not physician's assistants, we're not nurses. But at the same time, as little research as has been done with what little research has been done. There still is information out there.


Miranda 41:41

Absolutely.


Scott 41:42

Regarding terps, regarding cannabinoids, regarding dosage, regarding delivery methods, regarding what else?


Miranda 41:54

What I mean, yeah, I think you covered it all.


Scott 41:57

Regarding all these things. Regards to your cannabis use. You know, there's there's no shortage of content creators or--


Miranda 42:12

And even educational content creators, right.


Scott 42:16

Yeah, no, not just your, you know, blowing clouds, sending good vibes. That's absolutely fantastic. I'm all about it. But no, they're also like really nerdy people. Speak to us specifically, people that have PhDs in biochemistry and chemical engineering and you know, what do you call it? Growing plants, growing horticulture all that good stuff. You know, there are there are podcasts out there from all these people. There are articles available from these people there are you know, classes hopefully happening at dispensaries around you. They can be few and far between but I feel like now that COVID is, you know, chillin back out a little bit. You know, like, people are starting to reschedule. Yeah, different events and stuff. So, you know, if you see a class about cannabinoids, and you work in the industry, like, go take that, especially if it's free.


Miranda 43:34

Yeah. And even like, if you, I mean, YouTube? Yep. You don't have to go. But I mean, there's a ton of stuff on YouTube.


Scott 43:42

Yep. Free talks, free videos, free classes. There's there's lots of information available. But you know, unions would help promote things like that to ensure help negotiate, I


Miranda 43:58

think they would bring in educators as well.


Scott 44:02

Well, you know, if people are getting paid better wages and receiving benefits, better benefits or benefits to begin with. It'll attract a more professional class of employee.


Miranda 44:14

Absolutely.


Scott 44:16

You know, just generally speaking, people that know that they're going to make more money are going to be happier, they're going to stay longer. So that just over the course of time, they're going to acquire more knowledge and information. You know, being exposed to different products as you are in the industry being given demos and things like that and little educational classes or pop ups from the different companies. But yeah, you know, if these people are just being grind them in and grind them out, once they start making too much money for you, make it uncomfortable for them so they leave or once they start asking for for more benefits and better conditions make it uncomfortable for them. So they leave. Yeah, then then you're going to continue to get a certain level of service that comes with that.


Miranda 45:10

100%


Scott 45:11

Where you're, you know, treated as a commodity as a quote unquote patient in the medical cannabis industry, rather than being really, you know, supported and taken care of kept safe and provided for.


Miranda 45:32

And you're going to find budtenders in every situation that will be those people. But how long they stay around? Is a giant question.


Scott 45:41

Right. And and I mean, I think you see it, how many of the dispensaries where you go, do you see the same the same budtenders you know, more than a year, maybe two? I feel like and then it's, you know, it's just, it's just like the food and beverage industry where, you know, you move up the ladder, and you make less money. Because, yeah, the employers aren't providing the actual compensation for the most part, the patients are Yeah. Which I mean, that whole model to begin with is, if it's medicine, where else do you tip on your medicine? Right? I mean, you don't go to the pharmacy, right?


Miranda 46:18

Slide your pharmacist a $20.


Scott 46:20

Yeah, you know. Oh, well, shit. My meds were $300. Today, I guess I better give them a 10 spot, because I dropped 300 bucks.


Miranda 46:28

Thanks for making sure they're 60 in there.


Scott 46:30

Like that's just even, it doesn't make any sense at all.


Miranda 46:35

No. NO.


Scott 46:36

I mean, of course, when I was a budtender, I accepted tips because I was basically being paid poverty wages to be a budtender, right. But, yeah, so. So yeah, it kind of builds in this system where the front of house employees are versus the back of house employees where they're not necessarily sharing in, you know, the bonus pool or, you know, receiving these cash tips that they can walk away with.


Miranda 47:06

Right. And they're not being fairly compensated either.


Scott 47:09

No, it's, it's totally ridiculous. But meanwhile, these places are making, you know, millions of dollars in sales and hundreds of 1000s of dollars, at least in profits. Yeah. It's, it's really pretty wild. So, you know, like we've talked about before, when it comes to the social equity stuff. Pay attention to where you spend your money. Yeah, if these are issues that are important to you, if if you support workers rights and union work, then maybe look for dispensaries in your area that are union shops, maybe look for growers in your area that are union grows, or extractors that are, you know, union extractors and make sure you put your money towards it or look, hey, if people are paying their people good enough benefits on their own, yeah, that their workers don't feel the need to unionize then right on, you know, and I hope that any place that votes against a union having pursued that path, ends up with better working conditions anyway, and still managing--


Miranda 48:18

I hope that it's an eye opening experience for the owners.


Scott 48:22

You would think right? You think that if enough people at some point in a process, said, overwhelmingly, this is what we want, the jority of us feel like we need to sit down and have help bargaining, then you would hope that the owners would indeed sit down and bargain with those employees that voted against that union. Anyway, you know, and and find out why, you know, whatever people had supported that cause didn't in the end, and what they had hoped to achieve, or what they were, you know, without the threat of repercussions.


Miranda 49:04

Exactly.


Scott 49:05

Without intimidation, without hollow promises. It's it's really easy for an employer to bargain, quote, unquote, in good faith with their employees, right? Well, you don't need a union to talk to us. You could do it on your own right. You've always done that. You've we've always given you raises.


Miranda 49:27

An open door policy


Scott 49:28

When you've come so well. That doesn't mean they've done that with everybody, especially if you work in the kind of place where they encourage you not to talk about your wages on a regular basis.


Miranda 49:39

And just a heads up guys, it's not illegal to talk about how much money you make.


Scott 49:43

No, it is never, as far as I know.


Miranda 49:46

No, it's not.


Scott 49:47

Nowhere in the United States. Is it illegal to talk about the money that you make or your benefits that you receive if your employer is giving you that idea, then it's because they are embarrassed or shy of what somebody is making. And they don't want everybody else to find out about it.


Miranda 50:04

110%


Scott 50:07

So yeah, that's our wrap up on that. You can read more about all of this stuff on the blog.


Miranda 50:16

We'll shoot you some links.


Scott 50:17

On our personal pages and all that good stuff, of course as usual. Otherwise in the world of cannabis, there's been some some other weird and wonderful stuff as well.


Miranda 50:29

Yeah.


Scott 50:30

You saw Mike Tyson's new eadible line.


Miranda 50:35

I, yeah, I've got I've got some feelings about that.


Scott 50:39

I feel like we needed a laugh after coming off.


Miranda 50:41

I know.


Scott 50:42

Comming off of our union soapbox.


Miranda 50:44

Um, I've got some feelings about that.


Scott 50:47

So if you don't know, Iron Mike has a cannabis brand. I believe it's Champion.


Miranda 50:57

I think it's called Champions or Champs or, yeah, something to that degree.


Scott 51:02

But they came out with a new line of edible products. And they are gummies in the shape of an ear.


Miranda 51:10

With a bite taken out. I just can't.


Scott 51:15

I mean, when I sent Miranda the link, I just said Mike still has no chill, because--


Miranda 51:22

Mike has done some serious work.


Scott 51:25

Yeah.


Miranda 51:25

Mike. I mean, I'm going to acknowledge the fact that that man has done some really hard work on his personage.


Scott 51:34

And look, we don't know Mike Tyson.


Miranda 51:35

No, it's not like we're hanging out with him.


Scott 51:38

Mike's been accused of abusing women in the past and Mike's been accused of biting people's ears in the in the past. You know? I mean--


Miranda 51:49

I feel like Mike's done--


Scott 51:51

We're not here to cheerlead necessarily for Mike Tyson. But yeah, he's like, he's done this whole, you know, speaking tour, basically.


Miranda 51:58

Yeah.


Scott 51:58

Like, psychedelics have, like, helped him get in touch with his like, you know, more sensitive, and understand that a lot of the shit in his life was from trauma and how to deal with that. Look, like I said, I just hope he at least like called Evander up--


Miranda 52:16

and said, Hey, is this cool?


Scott 52:18

Yeah, like, just just to let you know, like, this is happening, right? Like, do you want to come to a photo shoot with me? Are you cool with this? Like, I think if was Evander I think I would probably think it was funny at this point.


Miranda 52:33

I think enough time has passed.


Scott 52:35

I don't know man. I've never had my year bitten off.


Miranda 52:38

Same. Like, I mean, but but. But speaking from you know, I don't resent any of the people who broke my nose when I was playing rugby in college. So...


Scott 52:48

Fun fact about Our Lady of Maryjane for you.


Miranda 52:52

Um, so yeah, I mean, maybe, maybe Evander is pretty alright with it. I would like to see some words from Evander, but we have not seen words from Evander, sadly.


Scott 53:09

No, we have not.


Miranda 53:11

But yeah, Iron Mike's got that going on.


Scott 53:14

Check out Mike Tyson's edibles. If you're in an area where they're sold and let us know how they are.


Miranda 53:22

I hope they're delicious.


Scott 53:23

I think you can get them in Nevada. I think you can get them. I think Mike's also in California, maybe?


Miranda 53:30

I know. Definitely Nevada. Yeah.


Scott 53:33

so, check them out for us. Let us know. Next month.


Miranda 53:38

Yeah.


Scott 53:39

We'll be coming to you in April.


Miranda 53:42

It's my birthday month.


Scott 53:43

Yes. The birthday month is on its way. We're excited. We got our tickets to National Cannabis Fest. We're going to be going down there on the Saturday that who is a Wiz Khalifa and Ghost Face. And there's some great reggae bands. I know my friend Jade is playing in a band from DC that's playing on Saturday. But yeah, so we're super excited about that. We'll be doing some like on the scene interviews with people.


Miranda 54:14

Come and hang out with us!


Scott 54:15

Yeah, absolutely. Tickets are definitely available. Saturday is at RFK Stadium. I got a Airbnb, a few blocks, a ways that we could chill out. We're going to be hanging out with some of our friends down there. We would love to run into listeners of the show. We definitely know that some of the content creators and educators that we know they will be love will be down there with us. So yeah!


Miranda 54:42

It's a great time to chill hang out. Just get to know each other.


Scott 54:45

Yeah, there's, there's some, like group packages available where you can save a little bit of money. That's what we did. So you can do the same. But yeah, we'll be coming to you first and foremost with our next, strain review and focus on Evermore.


Miranda 55:07

Which I think we both love and respect as is.


Scott 55:10

Absolutely, excited to learn more about.


Miranda 55:14

Some of the best flower in Maryland.


Scott 55:17

For sure, not only flour, but um you know, I'm not. I'm not a huge concentrate guy, but they're concentrates are definitely delicious.


Miranda 55:26

Top shelf.


Scott 55:25

Fantastic terpene profiles and all that good stuff. They've got cartridges and blah, blah, blah. Our buddy Chris from The Enlightened Voice happens to work for them in the Grow place. So happy to give them a shout out and a focus don't know exactly what strains we'll be looking at yet, because obviously, we want to get some nice fresh flowers. So we'll see what's looking good at the time. Maybe some of that Orange Drizzle or maybe some of that. I know you've had the sour peel recently, and had good things to say about that. So who knows maybe Miranda will talk to you about the Sour Peel. I've definitely been a fan of their Santa Cruz Blue Dream.


Miranda 55:36

The Patapeake Shortbread was delicious.


Scott 56:03

I've heard good things about the Patapeak. I wanted to try the Cush because I'm pretty sure the Cush, Cush with a C in this case, is their version of Green Crack if I'm not mistaken. So that is another name for Green Crack is green Cush. Okay, because I think I think maybe I've mentioned this in the past before, but supposedly Snoop Dogg came up with the name Green Crack, because the first time he smoked it, he was like, Oh man, super energized and like felt like it was like some some super hard hitten stuff. So he called it Green Crack, but apparently the name that it had had before that was Green Kush word. But of course, if Snoop calls it something, then that's what everybody else is going to start to call it. So supposedly Green Kush became Green Crack. The California growers weren't super thrilled about their cannabis being being called crack. So Green Crack has now been renamed a number of different things. You'll see it sometimes from what I understand, referred to as Dream Queen. I've been given Dream Queen in the past that I was told, Oh, my Green Crack. And if you look it up, there are some articles that you can find to support that.


Miranda 57:32

That's interesting because I've had Dream Queen, where it has been literally like a really heavy indica.


Scott 57:37

And to me, the name Dream Queen would indicate it was an indica. Yeah. And to me, the name Dream Queen would absolutely not indicate--


Miranda 57:49

That would indicate Space Queen and some other cross to me.


Scott 57:53

Look, look it up yourself.


Miranda 57:55

Maybe Blue Dream


Scott 57:56

if you've find alternative information, but the first time I was told it, I was like, You know what, that's weird. And then I looked it up. And I found some of the articles that said that had this whole history that I just went through. So who knows there's a lot of interesting names behind different strains and their genetics and and where they come from. Again, thank you for your continued support and feedback. Keep the questions coming. Keep the comments coming. We've got some good questions coming up. In the meantime, you can find me at Your Cannabis Coach.


Miranda 58:35

And you can find me at Our Lady of Maryjane. Yeah, I almost forgot who I was.


Scott 58:45

Yeah, be well to yourselves and each other. We will talk to you soon.


Miranda 58:49

Yeah, and I'm just gonna end this really quickly with a nice little quote from Martin Luther King Jr. "That we must accept finite disappointment but never lose infinite hope". Peace y'all.


[MUSIC: "Union Man" by Neil Young]


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