Weed workers across the country are unionizing, and California just made it easier for them.
On Friday, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed into law a requirement that all cannabis stores enter into so-called “labor peace agreements” as soon as they have 20 or more employees.
California is now one of two states — New York is the other — that requires licensed weed shops to make a deal with a formal labor union in which managers promise not to stop workers from joining a union. And in exchange, organizers won’t encourage labor strikes against the company.
Labor unions have been pushing for these agreements in recent years, as more and more states decriminalize marijuana. They say they want to make sure the $6 billion industry doesn’t exploit workers, who are often paid below the minimum wage or given marijuana instead of wages.
They also see it as a pathway for workers to form a labor union and boost membership. When unionized, cannabis workers have ended up negotiating annual raises, health insurance subsidies, and higher-than-average wages, according to the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union, which has been organizing cannabis workers across the country since 2011. [Read more at Vox]
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