Conflicts caused by Marijuana Labor Peace Agreement in the Legal Cannabis Industry

Conflicts caused by Marijuana Labor Peace Agreement in the Legal Cannabis Industry


In the marijuana industry, companies have agreed to sign a labor peace agreement unionizing their employees while others have resisted entering the said contract. 

Companies that have signed the labor attest that it is good for business. However, conflicts between companies that did sign labor peace agreements with labor organizers are evident from the recently filed complaints by unions and federal labor officials. 

The federal National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has received labor complaints within the past few months form labor unions against multi-state marijuana businesses such as Curaleaf, Cresco Labs, and Green Thumb. The companies are accused of making coercive statements and refusing to bargain, which could be a result of not understanding the strict workplace rules that could be triggered by the labor peace language by the accused companies. 

In the U.S, some areas have traditional strong labor unions such as the East Coast and some parts of California and the Midwest. Marijuana experts warn cannabis companies from these areas to expect more unionization efforts in the coming future. 

Entering into labor peace agreements can help companies in the recruitment and retailing of skilled employees. It may also help the union in their political endeavors. 

However, labor deals can also lead to increased employee costs and reduced flexibility in terms of operations. Labor peace agreements are hard to adopt for companies, especially those located in California since most of them are straining financially due to tax increases. 

Some of the recent labor peace agreements formed within the marijuana industry include: 

  • In California, they enacted a law requiring all marijuana companies with more than 20 workers to provide a rubberstamped statement saying that they will adhere to the terms of the peace agreement. The employees are required to maintain neutrality with union work. 
  • In New York, labor peace agreements are included in the medical law and were also included in the recreational legislation at the beginning of 2019. Recently, the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW) urged Northeast governors to add labor peace deals in their regional adult-use marijuana framework. 
  • UFCW initiated labor peace deals with Vireo Health in Pennsylvania and Sira Natural in Massachusetts. UFCW’s efforts towards unionizing marijuana workers started in 2013, and back then, the organization was referred to as the Cannabis Workers Rising. 

Vireo Health is based in Minneapolis, and it has signed a vertically integrated labor peace agreement. The chief strategy officer in Vireo Health, Ari Hoffnung, said that signing the labor peace deal was the right thing for the business and the employees as it ensures that the workers have access to a competitive salary and health insurance. He also noted that through unions, they could recruit and retain skilled personnel. The company has also signed labor deals in Maryland, Minnesota, and New York. 

Hoffnung further said that labor agreements are the start of a new marijuana industry where employees are given wages and benefits capable of maintaining their families. 

Hoffnung also noted that Vireo usually faces disagreement from their employees, and it is up to the company and the employees to work through the conflict. The company was against unionization of the Warehouse Production Sales and Allied Service Employees, and after the complaint was filed and voted on, the employees won by 16-0. 

Tanja Thompson offers advice for companies to be cautious when entering into labor peace agreements. She said that some marijuana businesses make themselves vulnerable to labor unions by giving them more access to their company than its necessary in their eagerness to join the booming industry. Some agreements allow unions to access employer facilities, organize a meeting with employees, and access to employee’s personal information in and out of the workplace. Some of the labor deals require companies to be neutral with their employees about unions, which could be detrimental to the workers if a union misrepresents itself by making promises that it cannot deliver to the employees, and this could lead to employees strike.

Thompson further said that unionization of employees and collective bargaining contracts often limit companies from making any amendments to the terms and conditions of employment. And this could be challenging for new businesses looking to expand. 

During an MJBizCon session, the executive director of the California Cannabis Industry Association, Lindsay Robinson, said that currently, marijuana businesses are going through a period of financial instability, and it is hard for them to adhere to all regulatory stipulations, especially the states strict labor peace policy. 


Medcare 2023 event

Terms and Conditions for Entry into Medcare Farms Puff Party(Required)
| Age Requirement: You confirm that you are 21 years of age or older at the time of entering the Event. Valid government-issued photo identification must be presented upon request. | Compliance with Laws: You agree to comply with all federal, state, and local laws and regulations, including those pertaining to the use, possession, and distribution of any substances allowed or provided at the Event. | Liability Waiver: You acknowledge that participation in the Event is at your own risk. Medcare Farms, its affiliates, sponsors, representatives, and employees are not liable for any personal injury, loss, damages, or expenses incurred by you or any person accompanying you to the Event. | No Resale or Transfer: Your entry to the Event is personal to you; tickets or invitations cannot be sold, transferred, or exchanged for any compensation without the express permission of Medcare Farms. | Conduct: You agree to conduct yourself in a manner that is respectful and safe. Medcare Farms reserves the right to remove any participant from the Event for behavior deemed inappropriate, disruptive, or dangerous, without refund or compensation. | Use of Likeness: You grant Medcare Farms and its affiliates the right to use your likeness, image, and voice in photographs, videos, or other digital media taken at the Event, in any and all of its publications, including web-based publications, without payment or other consideration. | Privacy: Personal information collected during the survey and registration process will be used in accordance with Medcare Farms’ Privacy Policy. This information will be used for event management and, unless you opt-out, for informing you of future events and promotions. | Indemnification: You agree to indemnify and hold harmless Medcare Farms and its affiliates, officers, employees, and agents from and against any claims, liabilities, damages, losses, and expenses, including without limitation, reasonable attorney fees and costs, arising out of or in any way connected with your participation in the Event. | Acceptance of Risk: You acknowledge that there are inherent risks involved in attending the Event and that you voluntarily assume those risks. | Severability: If any term or provision of these Terms and Conditions is found to be invalid, illegal, or unenforceable, the remainder of the Terms and Conditions will remain in full force and effect. | Governing Law: These Terms and Conditions shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of the state in which the Event is held, without giving effect to any principles of conflicts of law. | By checking this box, I confirm that I have read, understood, and agree to be bound by these Terms and Conditions.

Related Articles

Puff Party 2023

Medcare Farm’s Puff Party 2023 Welcome to Medcare Farms’ 2023 Puff Party, Complete our brief entry form to enjoy live

Read More »
Med CareLogo large

Are you over 21 years old?

Call Now Button