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The Cannabis Place in Jersey City Announces Grand Opening Thursday, Completion of 1st Union Training Program

The Cannabis Place dispensary is hosting its grand opening at 1542 Kennedy Boulevard in Jersey City this Thursday at 4:20 pm.

This comes less than a week after they announced with the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 360 union the completion of the country’s first cannabis retail pre-apprenticeship training course for cannabis dispensary workers. This program was an initiative held in Jersey City at The Cannabis Place Community Impact Room space next to their dispensary.

The Cannabis Place Dispensary Opening

The Cannabis Place is the first Latino and service-disabled veteran-owned business to open in New Jersey. They also operate a dispensary/delivery service that covers NYC, Long Island, and Westchester. The Cannabis Place has a state-of-the-art website at TheCannabisPlace.org and they also have both Google and Apple apps! This enables persons to place orders for in-store express pick up and in December they will launch their Free Delivery service beginning with Jersey City, Hoboken and Bayonne. It will grow to include all of Hudson County and beyond.

“We want our business to serve the local community,” The Cannabis Place Founder and CEO Osbert Orduña declared. “That means running an ethical, unionized company and boosting the prospects and prosperity of our neighbors. This program does that and is more proof that workforce investment equals immediate positive community impact. People can start careers here, whatever their background and skill level, and regardless of their history.”

“No one has done this before,” said Hugh Giordano, Director of Organizing at UFCW Local 360. “We have a visionary employer harnessing our unmatched cannabis industry expertise to train ambitious, local, but often overlooked talent. It’s a scalable and repeatable model that delivers great value for employees, owners, and consumers.”   

Usually, workers in a business must organize and demand the boss recognize a union to represent them, this is often a long and complicated process that has even ended up in court. At The Cannabis Place, their owner is pro-union and was the first to sign a Labor Peace Agreement over two years ago and then took it one step further by collaboratively creating the union pre-apprenticeship program. The UFCW has been working with New Jersey cannabis companies that have signed a Labor Peace Agreement (LPA), promising not to interfere if the workers want a union.

The Cannabis Place CEO Osbert is taking it a step further by opening as a unionized business where workers must join to get hired, making it a closed shop.

Unique Cannabis Worker Training Program

The training was held at The Cannabis Place’s community impact room in Jersey City. Twenty-two local students learned the basics of being a cannabis worker in a cannabis retail environment from UFCW Local 360’s and The Cannabis Place’s experts. Every participant now has started their cannabis career with The Cannabis Place dispensary after completing the two-week course.

The two-week pre-apprenticeship program included 80 hours of classroom instruction and realistic job simulations. The graduates will now be a part of the UFCW full apprenticeship program, which is currently reviewing applications for its first class, involves 144 hours in class and 2,000 hours on the job. 

Cannabis is one of the fastest-growing industries in the nation. Programs like this are designed to ensure the benefits of its growth accrue equitably. That includes building pathways to family-sustaining careers with a special focus on marginalized communities, veterans, and those who suffered during the failed war on drugs. 

“The best employers recognize the enormous untapped pool of amazing talent out there,” Giordano said. “Programs like this help attract that talent and release its potential.”    

“The goal is a program employers can trust, and jobseekers can have confidence in,” Orduña explained. “A lot of so-called training courses are popping up and charging all kinds of fees. Instead, we pay our students a stipend. With UFCW, we’ve removed the risk and replaced it with recognized expertise.” 

Launching The Cannabis Place Dispensary

The Cannabis Place was founded by Orduña. He is a first-generation Latino American of Colombian descent, who grew up in public housing and is also a service-disabled veteran. He is putting his U.S Marine Corps experience and his unique perspective to work in the cannabis industry.

The Cannabis Place dispensary is based in Greenville in the south of the city. Orduña said he wanted to improve a minority-majority urban neighborhood like the one he grew up in.

Orduña visited over 50 cannabis dispensaries across the country to develop his model for a new kind of cannabis company before launching The Cannabis Place. They seek to put people over profits.

The Cannabis Place dispensary has been active in Jersey City and has completed over $100,000 in in-kind donations to local groups. The company donated body bags to help Ukrainians fighting the invasion by Russia. They have also donated to food pantries, held anti-violence programs with the Credible Messengers. The Cannabis Place dispensary held a workshop for Hispanic New Jersey cannabis entrepreneurs. They even were a sponsor of the recent Minority Cannabis Business Alliance Equity Workshop tour that was held at HCCC.

Orduña is a serial entrepreneur familiar with the details of a regulated business that needs to be aware of politics, procedures and a complicated regulatory landscape.

The Cannabis Place is licensed in New Jersey and operates an adult use cannabis licensed delivery service in New York which launched earlier this year, their Queens, NYC dispensary is nearing completion.

This does make them a Multi-State Operator (MSO). But an MSO that is Hispanic-owned, pro-union, and wants to help communities has not been the issue with them.

The Cannabis Place invites everyone 21 years old and over to visit their adult use dispensary located at 1542 Kennedy Boulevard, Jersey City.

From seed to sale, UFCW is a national leader in organizing cannabis industry employees. The AFL-CIO’s designated cannabis labor union, UFCW works with employees and business owners to create a successful, regulated cannabis industry that delivers family-sustaining jobs and is focused on social equity.  

(Full disclosure: this is an advertorial purchased as part of an ad package.)

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