SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Today, the CEO of Perfect Union, one of the nation’s premier cannabis dispensary operations, urged California policymakers to prioritize the industry’s essential workforce during the COVID-19 vaccine distribution.
The cannabis industry was declared essential to protecting health and well-being in March 2020 by a gubernatorial executive order (N-33-20), and it included workers involved with the production, distribution, testing and dispensing of cannabis.
“Despite a global pandemic, California’s cannabis industry has continued to work tirelessly to provide quality products in a safe manner,” said David Spradlin, CEO of Perfect Union. “Even after following health and safety measures, cannabis workers face inherent risk going to work and cannot shelter in place. And unlike traditional retail, many that visit cannabis dispensaries are also those most vulnerable to severe COVID-19 complications, including the immune-compromised and elderly. I urge state policymakers to explicitly include essential cannabis workers in Phase 1B of the vaccine rollout to keep our patients and staff safe.”
Phase 1B of California’s COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan currently includes tier 1 (75 and older; workers in education, like teachers, and childcare; emergency services workers; food and agriculture workers, like farm workers and grocery workers) and tier 2 (65 or older with an underlying health condition or disability; workers in transportation and logistics; industrial, residential and commercial sectors; critical manufacturing workers; incarcerated individuals; and homeless individuals).
Today’s news builds on Perfect Union’s commitment to patients and staff. They led the industry by installing designated hand sanitizing stations inside dispensaries and controlled entry to allow for adequate social distancing. Perfect Union was also one of the first dispensaries in the nation to partner with the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) International Union to ensure a fair living wage and health benefits to their hourly employees, as well as leading the industry in providing hazard bonus pay for employees during COVID-19.
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