By Ross Lenihan
With Earth Day fast approaching, America is preparing to honor the greenest holiday outside Christmas. Coincidentally, today is also 4/20, a “green” holiday of another sort. With recreational cannabis use now legal in Colorado, Washington, Oregon, Alaska, and Washington, D.C., and proposals to do the same in 10 more states likely coming in November 2016, labor issues are becoming more and more relevant in the cannabis industry.
We are also thrilled to hear that unions are increasingly becoming an asset for private cannabis businesses. Consider the case of Kauai, Hawaii, which is preparing to grant its first medical marijuana license.
Businesses vying for that license are highly competitive, which is why Justin Britt, head of the Green Aloha consortium, has struck an agreement with UFCW 480 that would guarantee key worker protections: “Whoever is awarded this license is given a great responsibility to produce the best medicine…We feel it is a smart business decision to partner with UFCW because we’re providing ourselves with the expertise to set ourselves apart from other applicants and hit the ground running.”
Labor 411 salutes the hardworking union sisters and brothers that already work in medical cannabis dispensaries and we support the good folks at UFCW who are leading the charge to protect cannabis workers’ rights. If businesses realize that governments are more likely to play ball if they treat their cannabis workers right, this may just be a ticket to greener pastures for all.
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