Jennifer Rodriguez works two jobs to afford living in the Bay Area. After dropping off her three children at school, she spends most mornings shuttling Uber passengers.
Then the Hayward mother starts a shift delivering marijuana.
Unlike her Uber work, where she’s considered an independent contractor and has to pay all of her own costs, when it comes to slinging pot, she’s a full-time employee, earning $15 an hour plus reimbursement for miles driven and her cell phone use. She’s notched more than 3,000 deliveries in the Bay Area, according to her employer, Caliva, a San Jose marijuana grower and dispensary.
“People might think that the employees smoke weed or are potheads, which — there’s nothing wrong with that,” Rodriguez said. “But a lot of employees just work there for the money, and because it’s a great place to work.”
The gig economy, hailed for freeing workers to set their own hours but assailed for stripping them of benefits and legal protections, doesn’t play much of a role in the state’s burgeoning cannabis sector. That’s because marijuana delivery jobs, under state regulations that took effect in January, must be filled by regular employees, not contractors. [Read more at San Francisco Chronicle]