California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a new law that requires cannabis dispensaries to allow employees to form a union if they want to obtain a state license, according to GreenRushDaily.
Once a cannabis dispensary applicant reaches 20 employees, the bill requires them to enter into a Labor Peace Agreement with union workers,
What makes cannabis employees unions different from the usual labor unions is the very nature of the industry.
Due to the federal prohibition on cannabis, workers in the industry lack federal assistance for benefits such as health care coverage, creating an opening for unions to help, GreenRushDaily said.
A signed Labor Peace Agreement vouches for an employer’s agreement to let employees unionize if they wish, and even to have them meet with their union organizers at work.
In return, unions should not advocate for labor strikes, GreenRushDaily reported.
The benefits cannabis employees could bargain for if they unionize include higher paychecks, employer-funded retirement plans and health insurance subsidies, which is why more and more cannabis employees are unionizing in the U.S.
A law requiring cannabis employers to sign LPAs has been also passed in New York.
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The United Food and Commercial Workers International Union is one of the major worker unions in the country that caters to the needs of workers in the grocery, retail, packing and processing, chemical, cannabis and distillery sectors.
The organization stands for the rights of tens of thousands of cannabis employees across multiple states. It has been running the Cannabis Workers Rising campaign since 2010, according to the union’s website.
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