As the California market is becoming a $22 billion industry and sales reached 30 percent increases this last year, labor unions are seeking to bring marijuana workers together. This could be great news for people looking to join the emerging cannabis industry as recreational weed rolls out this year.
The United Farm Workers, Teamsters, and United Food and Commercial Workers are just some of the labor unions competing for the chance to establish the first union of weed workers.
Although, as Associated Press reported, some workers don’t feel the need to pay extra fees in joining a labor union, while others see a few advantages. UFW labor leader Cesar Chavez told AP that by unionizing workers, they could brainstorm a few marketing strategies such as labelling products with UFW logos. Kristin Heidelbach of Teamsters said many workers in small cannabis businesses may feel more secure joining unions when bigger corporations enter the market and create competitive pressure for the smaller players. Labor leaders said there are at least 100,000 cannabis workers employed in California.
Los Angeles resident Richard Rodriguez told AP that he converted to joining a union as he was stopped by the police while delivering a shipment of legal pot. Rodriguez was accused of driving too closely behind a truck and was detained for 12 hours. The union lawyer was able to save him from arrest with no hassles. “Most companies can’t or are unwilling to do that,” he told Associated Press, “because employees are easily replaced.”