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Marijuana Workers’ Pay


I think the Charles Restivo/Pacific Coast Collective case should not have gone to trial. First, because the supplier, Mowrer, had a California Recommendation. Any and all attempts to limit the amount of pot a recommendation holder may transport (within California) have been shot down in California courts, as recently as this year.

Second, it is illegitimate for the prosecution in this case to yell “profit” in an attempt to set a limit on the pay marijuana industry workers may receive. This occurs by hijacking the term “reasonable compensation,” found in Governor Brown’s guidelines. Pay for a valuable marijuana industry worker will remain significant, as the labor market dictates, as it should. But false shame is brought to the industry in many courts because its jobs pay a bit more than other menial occupations. A guilty verdict may be found due to a judge’s or jury’s insistence that pruning, irrigating, harvesting, planting, and security should pay unenviable wages. The fact is, “reasonable compensation” is marketplace, not a fuddy-duddy’s idea of a living wage.—Matt McLaughlin

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