As Governor Murphy’s August 21st deadline looms closer, New Jersey cities are scrambling to enact last-minute ordinances on potential cannabis businesses.
Nevertheless, UFCW Local 152 staff continue to attend meetings to voice the Local’s strong support of the cannabis industry. Our goal is to bring these quality union jobs to the Garden State, but we cannot do that if cannabis businesses continue to be totally banned within our cities and towns.
Our presence at these meetings continues to be well-documented in local news. Below you will find a list of the most recent mentions in July 2021.
On Tuesday, July 6th, UFCW Local 152 Union Representative Hugh Giordano attended a Lower Township Council meeting. At the meeting, cannabis-friendly ordinances were passed, one of which will allow marijuana sales and delivery businesses within the city! Lower Township is now the first Cape May County municipality to approve cannabis businesses in some form.
He was later quoted in two local news articles:
Hugh Giordano of UFCW Local 152 said legal cannabis brings good-paying, union jobs with benefits, jobs he said Lower Township needs.
“These are careers. These are not part-time boardwalk jobs. These are jobs where families will move here and actually pay taxes and be part of society,” Giordano said.
Read the full article on The Press of Atlantic City‘s website.
He was quoted again in the Cape May County Herald:
Public comment on the ordinance mostly supported it.
Hugh Giordano, from the United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 152, which represents the Cannabis Workers’ Union, said cannabis businesses offer good jobs with good wages.
“The cannabis industry offers well-educated jobs, union jobs, with union benefits, good middle-class jobs that offer careers,” Giordano said.
Following the Lower Township meeting, Union Representative Hugh Giordano also attended the Allentown Borough Council meeting on July 6th. Unfortunately, the Council passed an ordinance to ban cannabis production and sales.
Nevertheless, Hugh’s efforts were later quoted in CentralJersey.com:
A public hearing was conducted prior to the council members’ vote to adopt the ordinance. Several individuals addressed Mayor Thomas Fritts and the six council members. […]
Hugh Giordano represents the United Food and Commercial Workers union, which represents the state’s medical cannabis workers and adult use cannabis workers.
“These jobs (at a cannabis business) will be good, living wage jobs,” Giordano said, before he asked the council members to consider where such businesses could be located in Allentown.
The following week, Union Representative Hugh Giordano attended the Monday, July 12th Flemington Borough Council meeting. Here, the council voted to allow a small number of cannabis retailers and cultivators in the borough with certain limitations.
Representative Giordano was later quoted on a local news website:
Hugh Giordano of Blackwood, who represents the United Food and Commercial Works Union, said approving the ordinance is “an opportunity to create higher wage jobs.”
Learn more about the meeting on the TapInto.net website.
The next day, Mr. Giordano attended the Jackson Township Council meeting on Tuesday, July 13th. Unfortunately, the Jackson Township Council passed an ordinance to ban any class of recreational cannabis business within the township.
Hugh was later quoted extensively in Jersey Shore Online:
Hugh Giordano, who speaks for the United Food Commercial Workers Union, UFCW a national labor union that represents cannabis workers from seed to sale adult use, attended the meeting. “We oppose this ordinance. This is an attack on good jobs, an attack on living wage jobs. Jobs that come with health care, sick time and vacation, dental, vision, retirement. These are adult jobs.”
Giordano urged the council to review an ordinance from Bayonne which outlined regulations he said would make the community feel more comfortable in allowing cannabis sales. “One cultivation site can create up to 100 full time jobs. When you prohibit this, you open the door up to other folks to sell things. The gateway drug, is the drug dealer.”
“We deal in regulated industries. You could have other opportunities outside of retail (for cannabis) with no interaction or purchasing anything. You’ll still get tax credits and create good jobs. To say there are unknowns – there are 20 dispensary sites, cultivation sites up and running and many states have already legalized adult use and the sky is not falling down,” he added.
Read the article in full on Jersey Shore Online.
Representative Giordano attended a second meeting on July 13th, the Howell Township Council meeting. The council ultimately passed an ordinance banning all types of cannabis within the township lines.
Hugh Giordano, a representative of United Food and Commercial Workers Local 152, which represents employees in the cannabis industry, expressed the union’s opposition to the ordinance which prohibits cannabis businesses from operating in Howell. He invited the council members to tour these types of facilities at locations in the state.
Read the full article on CentralJersey.com.
The Manalapan Township Committee voted to prohibit all classes of cannabis businesses at the Wednesday, July 14th meeting. Hugh Giordano, who attended the meeting, was later mentioned in a local news article:
During the public hearing, Hugh Giordano spoke on behalf of the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 152, which represents individuals who are employed in cannabis businesses. Giordano said the cannabis businesses “create good jobs.”
Read the full article on CentralJersey.com.
The next week, Union Representative Giordano attended the Monday, July 19th Freehold Borough Council meeting. The council passed an ordinance establishing guidelines for where cannabis businesses may one day operate. This is certainly a step in the right direction!
During the public hearing that preceded the council’s vote on the ordinance, Hugh Giordano, a representative with the United Food and Commercial Workers union, which represents employees in the cannabis industry, voiced support for the ordinance.
“I want to thank the council and the mayor for having the courage to allow good union jobs here in Freehold Borough,” Giordano said. “These jobs are union from seed to sale and the build-out and retrofit (of cannabis businesses) will be done by the carpenters, the IBEW (International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers) and the steamfitters.”
Read the full article on CentralJersey.com.
On Thursday, July 22nd, the Somers Point City Council unanimously voted to ban all cannabis operations anywhere within the city. Mr. Giordano was later mentioned in a local newspaper:
Speakers both for and against allowing cannabis sales in the community had their say before the final vote on the ordinance. Council also heard from Hugh Giordano, a union representative with UFCW Local 152 who has argued before several governing bodies that a legal cannabis industry will mean good jobs for communities.
Read the full article on The Press of Atlantic City.
Finally, Vernon City Council held a meeting on Monday, July 26th. Union Representative Hugh Giordano attended the meeting, where the council voted to only allow the growth, wholesale, and distribution of cannabis products within the city.
During the opening public comments session, Hugh Giordano, representing the United Food and Commercial Workers union urged the board to approve the zoning changes.
He also recommended the Council adopt the process used by Bayonne as the board goes about accepting and approving applications to open cannabis operations. He noted the process was “merit-based” and used verifiable answers to a list of questions – with points assigned – as an impartial way to give out the limited number of permits that could be offered.
Read the full article on New Jersey Herald.
The Insider 100: Cannabis Power List
In other exciting news, UFCW Local 152 Union Representatives Hugh Giordano and Matte Kane made the Insider 100: Cannabis Power List, which features the “influential voices in New Jersey’s long battle to end cannabis prohibition.” This is the second year they made the list.
From the Cannabis Power List:
#47 – Matte Kane and Hugh Giordano
“America’s cannabis industry is already booming and only getting bigger. United Food and Commercial Workers Union representatives Matte Kane and Hugh Giordano go to work every day to ensure that rank-and-file workers get a fair deal out of the cannabis green-rush.
Over the past 5 years the Union tandem of Matte Kane and Hugh Giordano have shown up (at least once) at nearly every municipality in the state for council and zoning/planning meetings advocating on behalf of patients, workers and even business owners.
In the past 18 months Mr. Kane & Mr. Giordano have taken on another (and potentially more economically critical) facet of the cannabis industry: hemp, marijuana’s non-psychoactive cousin.
As indoor warehouse grow facilities and hydroponic industrial farms begin to dot NJ’s landscape, Matte and Hugh are currently working with the Agricultural Committees in Trenton to restructure labor laws for non-seasonal farm workers (previously exempt from collective bargaining) to be recognized as bargaining units.
This is a huge step in protecting future generations of cannabis and hemp workers in the Garden State.”
See who else made the list on InsiderNJ.
UFCW Local 152 is not new to fighting on behalf of the cannabis industry up and down the Garden State.
On a national level, the United Food and Commercial Workers represent workers in both medical and recreational cannabis-related industries. UFCW Local 152 is committed to standing with cannabis workers in our area to not only create good jobs, but also represent them so that their employers pay good wages, good benefits, and fair treatment in a safe work environment. Discover more about the Cannabis Campaign in our area and our efforts to support workers in the industry.
If you work in the Cannabis industry and want to join UFCW Local 152, please contact us via our Union Interest form.