I’m a licensed operator in MA with a little over a year of cannabis production experience at a large MSO. I’ve been the sole operator and maintenance tech to a closed-loop hydrocarbon extraction system, been here since day 1 of production.
Despite my 3 years of prior lab experience, and my 12 months being the only extractor, the company seems unwilling to pay me a fair rate. I’m making the same 17.50, while there are people with generous salaries in far less technical roles than mine, and with fewer credentials. Management just seems to give me the run-around when I confront them about it.
Besides the pay issues, I really like my job and am proud of the work I can do. That being said I can’t continue to allow people to stand on my shoulders here any longer, if they aren’t going to pay me fairly.
If anybody is aware of any projects in Western Mass, I’d love to throw my hat in the ring. Thank you in advance.
Any horror stories working for a MSO would also be appreciated this place is quickly becoming a dumpster fire…
I can’t/won’t be specific but I almost stayed in MA working for that market - I think it was the first or second dispo that opened that had their attached grow license, they just essentially expected everyone to ask no questions and just line up for a job. Asked who the owner was and got given some wishy washy front guy’s name. Asked again if they wanted to clarify that since I don’t like not knowing who I work for and got fed a line of bullshit again. I’ve also heard that a lot of investment firms have their hands in those out there so it’s one of those ‘Who the fuck do I actually work for?’ situations all over the place. I really hope you are able to get a fair wage out there, New England is beautiful and I miss it a lot but my god they make it hard to get decent product anywhere!
@MassTerpenes Is a badass out in Western MA as well, maybe homie has some leads?
Thanks so much for the reply, it’s been a tough morning at the lab. I’ll definitely reach out!
It’s been pretty disappointing working at this MSO out here. I started out on the ground floor- empty factory building. Slowly our team of 4 dudes pieced together a lab. Despite being a billion dollar company, no employee evaluations have happened. There’s been lots of drama, and I’ve just done my best to keep my head down and stay busy. Now, almost everybody from the “first round” of hires is gone…but here I am, running extractions for the same 17.50 thanks again for the encouragement.
Really looking for an avenue out.
It’s insane because they pretty much set the entire Mass market up to be ran by wolves with these insane entry costs to ‘prohibit organized crime’ if I remember correctly from a decade+ ago when they were putting those regs up - SPOILER ALERT IT DIDN’T! So now you’ve got a two sided game ran by sketchy people who are coming from TWO industries where they juice people as a part of their nature. Anyone whose hung on as long as you have in the MA legal market needs a fucking war medal because after seeing how most of the country is ran with regards to the legal market MA screws their workers over way harder considering the insane population density in the majority of the state. 45 before taxes for untrimmed 1/8ths and dudes like you still get sub-20 bucks an hour? Total fucking bullshit.
You can do it bro. You obviously have pride and want to last. Make your work speak for itself and let them know that quality walks out the door with you unless they can do it better.
Oh if it’s not immediately obvious I lived in Boston for over a decade and worked the traditional market the entire time - standing and waiting for it seeming to be tilted more toward the workers. It never happened. I moved. Then saw the legal market wasn’t EXACTLY as much of an ass-blast as it is in MA elsewhere. People still respect and need dudes like you - it’s just when you’re a spreadsheet due to the nature of the formations of these businesses (not sure how yours was founded but due to the cost barrier normally it comes from deep pockets) they really have no idea how the operations work and just assume the machines do everything.
I’d catch Covid for a week. Use the time to look for another job. When you get back to work you ask first thing that morning for a raise, if you don’t have it by lunch time, I’d leave the bomb(extractor) ticking as I walk out the door.
I just turned down a management gig for Fine Fettle in Hinsdale, they’re opening up a shop there to do strictly outdoor fresh frozen. Might have luck with them.
literally blows my mind what businesses are paying their extractors… You’d think by the simple fact they’re aware of all the regs and c1d1 build out requirements, that they would garner an appreciation for the fact it is both skilled, and potentially dangerous work. If you need extensive safety measures and certifications to build a given workspace, the operator in that work space should without a fucking doubt be entitled to above average pay.
We started people operating in the c1d1 @$50/hr. In the cali rec market, those kind of price points might not make sense any more given the tanking pricing, but MA and CA rec markets are not the same. I always explain to the investors I vet opportunities for the distinction… CA had a massive black market economy to attempt to bring into the fold/prop up. They had to issue shitloads of licenses. MA and most other emerging markets didn’t take that approach because they didn’t have to. Price points and profits are safe in these markets, and it seems like operators are definitely getting the shaft.
The labor is valued at what someone will do it for. In this case (and many others) low
I had to get my foot in the door, and had no reason to believe they would keep paying me packager rates 12 months down the road.
I understand I’m not dissing on you it’s fucked up. A lot of threads have popped up here for underpaid cannabis employees and extractors mainly. One user quit to do doordash because he could make like double.
I think where the cannabis industry has its downfall is that it is kind of a cool job to do and an industry a lot of people want to work in and are passionate about. And like you want to get their foot in the door and work their way up the ladder. Well unfortunately this ladder is shaped like a dick and the only way to work your way up is with your ass instead of your hands and feet.
The fact that the job is cool and sought after drops value it pays (from what I can see, why else?) I see it with trimmers too they’ll trim for minimum wage here because it gets their foot in the door to work their way up but often your time is wasted chasing something that doesn’t exist. Trimming for a year and then they just hire someone to fill the position above you.
You don’t get accepted into hamburger academy without learning to make fries. For some it’s 3 years, others 15 to be a franchise owner.
Seems legit potentially harm people because you want more money
Yeah…yikes. I like my job, I like my coworkers, I just know I could be getting paid more and needed a space to vent.
What is your benefits package like if you don’t mind me asking? That should be factored into a total compensation package.
5 (8 hour) days PTO and opt-in health coverage through Aetna. Fed. holidays off.
I previously worked in academic labs where things were very relaxed as long as the job got done by the deadline. So I’m probably not the best judge of fairness there.
Also, discounts on product (which mostly just negates the tax)
But I grow & press my own lol
Sounds like MA and how the places operate. I got out of there soon after Theory fucked me over. Send your resume to a cannabis recruiter as well. If you are open to move out of MA, there are opportunities everywhere.
Our shop just unionized but they haven’t started bargaining.
I knew someone who quit working at Intel by shutting down several systems control panels on their way out the door. They are currently in jail for millions in damages caused by their outburst…
Damaging someone’s shit isn’t as bad as hurting people.
Damaging people’s shit is fine if they owe you and haven’t paid you, perfectly acceptable. Fighting them one-on-one is cool too
But not blowing up a cls