Legal marijuana is here, and it’s not going away. By early 2016, the states of Washington, Colorado, Oregon, and Alaska permitted the social use of cannabis, and 23 others protected the sale of medical marijuana.
The Second Annual Cannabis Summit in Seattle in early January drew over 300 participants; the group included growers, retailers, academics and public officials, all of whom were committed to making legalization safe and efficient. In Colorado, The Washington Post predicted that revenue from marijuana sales in 2016 would top $1 billion. Given such support, there will undoubtedly be further positive legislation across the country.
Cannabis production gives organized labor an opportunity to regain its influence in industrial relations. By mobilizing at the outset, unions can help to maintain decent jobs and assist employers with the project of legitimation now underway.
The United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) has committed substantial resources to organizing cannabis employees, but as with many other issues involving marijuana, the labor relations environment features both state and federal law, and federal law fails to provide a clear path to unionization. [Read more at The Hill}