Marketing Your Cannabis Business with a Unionized Workforce

Cannabis business owners increasingly must confront a workplace reality that mainstream companies have faced for generations: organized labor.

Front and center is the United Food and Commercial Workers union, which is aggressively seeking to convince cannabis workers to join its ranks. The UFCW said it aims to organize cannabis workers in every state where marijuana is legal, and that it already represents “tens of thousands” of MJ workers in multiple states.

The union’s ranks include employees in cultivation facilities, dispensaries, infused product companies and labs. The Teamsters and the United Farm Workers are also trying to organize marijuana industry workers.

In California, it will be hard for many marijuana businesses to avoid dealing with unions. The Golden State requires marijuana business licensees that have at least 20 employees to strike a “labor peace agreement” with a union. Such a pact can ultimately pave the way for unionization.

New York has a similar labor peace agreement requirement for marijuana businesses.

Unions also are making inroads in other states.

Following is what you need to know and the steps you can take when dealing with a union seeking a peace agreement. In most cases, it can be relatively quick and affordable.

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