Labor Union

Cannabis Workers Rising

Website:

www.ufcw.org/who-we-represent/cannabis/

Location:

Washington, DC

Type:

Labor Union Project

Cannabis Workers Rising is a trade union for growers and employees involved in the marijuana industry. [1] It is a project of the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW), the fifth-largest union in the United States. [2]

Background

Cannabis Workers Rising was created by the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union in 2011 to unionize the growing marijuana industry. [3] The interest in unionizing the marijuana industry by UCFW is in part motivated by laws passed in California and New Yok [4] that require, as a pre-condition to obtaining a license to sell marijuana, that employers in the marijuana industry sign neutrality agreements that require employers to not communicate their concerns regarding unionization with their employees, while granting unions the right to freely advertise the purported benefits of unionization. [5]

Legislation

Cannabis Workers Rising, beyond directly unionizing employees, advocates for laws that condition state licenses to grow marijuana and operate dispensaries on signing neutrality agreements. [6] These laws compel employers in the marijuana industry to forgo their federal and state-based right to discuss their concerns regarding the unionization of their labor force, and the potential downsides of unionization, with their own employees. [7] These agreements in turn allow unions to freely advocate in favor of unionizing. [8]

Cannabis Workers Rising has referred to itself, through local UFCW unions, as the “leading voice” in the push to pass such forced neutrality agreements in Connecticut, [9] an effort that ultimately succeeded in 2021. [10]

In 2019, through the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union, the organization wrote a joint letter to the governors of New York, Rhode Island, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts urging them to condition the passage of marijuana legalization bills on the inclusion of provisions requiring marijuana production and distribution license holders to sign neutrality agreements. [11]

Organizing

Cannabis Workers Rising has unionized various small businesses across the country, such as DC Holistic Wellness, a local marijuana dispensary in Washington, D.C. with only 13 employees. [12]

However, United Food and Commercial Workers International Union has also utilized forced neutrality agreements to unionize the larger corporations in the marijuana industry, including Wonderland, Mr. Nice Guy, The Joint, NRX, modernbuds, Long Beach Green Room, McKesson, Have a Heart, and Garden State Dispensary. [13]

Leadership

Marc Perrone is the president of United Food and Commercial Workers International Union, the parent organization of Cannabis Workers Rising. [14] Perrone received a bachelor’s degree in labor relations in 1989, [15] and began working as a labor organizer soon after graduating from college. [16]

References

  1. “Cannabis Union.” UCFW. https://www.ufcw.org/who-we-represent/cannabis/ ^
  2. “The Largest Labor Unions In The US.” World Atlas. https://www.worldatlas.com/articles/the-largest-labor-unions-in-the-us.html ^
  3. Fernández Campbell, Alexia. “The push to unionize cannabis workers, explained.” Vox. October 14, 2019. Accessed August 11, 2022.  https://www.vox.com/identities/2019/10/14/20913631/marijuana-workers-labor-unions ^
  4. Fernández Campbell, Alexia. “The push to unionize cannabis workers, explained.” Vox. October 14, 2019. Accessed August 11, 2022.  https://www.vox.com/identities/2019/10/14/20913631/marijuana-workers-labor-unions ^
  5. Fernández Campbell, Alexia. “The push to unionize cannabis workers, explained.” Vox. October 14, 2019. Accessed August 11, 2022.  https://www.vox.com/identities/2019/10/14/20913631/marijuana-workers-labor-unions ^
  6. Fernández Campbell, Alexia. “The push to unionize cannabis workers, explained.” Vox. October 14, 2019. Accessed August 11, 2022.  https://www.vox.com/identities/2019/10/14/20913631/marijuana-workers-labor-unions ^
  7. “UFCW Applauds Connecticut’s Passage of Cannabis Bill.” UCFW. July 29, 2021. Accessed August 11, 2022. https://www.ufcw.org/ufcw-applauds-connecticuts-passage-of-cannabis-bill/ ^
  8. “UFCW Applauds Connecticut’s Passage of Cannabis Bill.” UCFW. July 29, 2021. Accessed August 11, 2022. https://www.ufcw.org/ufcw-applauds-connecticuts-passage-of-cannabis-bill/ ^
  9. “UFCW Applauds Connecticut’s Passage of Cannabis Bill.” UCFW. July 29, 2021. Accessed August 11, 2022. https://www.ufcw.org/ufcw-applauds-connecticuts-passage-of-cannabis-bill/ ^
  10. “UFCW Applauds Connecticut’s Passage of Cannabis Bill.” UCFW. July 29, 2021. Accessed August 11, 2022. https://www.ufcw.org/ufcw-applauds-connecticuts-passage-of-cannabis-bill/ ^
  11.  Perrone, Anthony M. “Letter to Six Northeast Governors.” UCFW. November 6, 2019. Accessed August 11, 2022. https://www.ufcw.org/wp-content/blogs.dir/61/files/2019/11/UFCW-Letter-to-Northeast-Governors-Cannabis-Framework.pdf ^
  12. “DC Holistic Wellness Workers Make History by Joining Local 400.” UCFW. October 26, 2020. Accessed August 11, 2022. https://www.ufcw.org/actions/victories/dc-holistic-wellness-workers-make-history-by-joining-local-400/ ^
  13. “Cannabis Union – Major UFCW-represented employers.” UCFW. https://www.ufcw.org/who-we-represent/cannabis/ ^
  14. “Marc Perrone.” LinkedIn. https://www.linkedin.com/in/marc-perrone-92ba4b19 ^
  15. “Marc Perrone.” LinkedIn. https://www.linkedin.com/in/marc-perrone-92ba4b19 ^
  16. King, Cyd. “Anthony Marc Perrone.” Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette. July 23, 2017. Accessed August 11, 2022. https://www.nwaonline.com/news/2017/jul/23/anthony-marc-perrone-20170723/ ^
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Cannabis Workers Rising


Washington, DC