Grow, Gift, Repair

Marijuana union organizing surging amid pandemic, uptick in labor peace requirements

The COVID-19 pandemic is one reason the UFCW has made inroads in the past year. “It woke up the worker side,” Giordano said of UFCW Local 152.

An employee at the Curaleaf dispensary in Hanover, Massachusetts, told Marijuana Business Daily last spring that workers had previously thought about unionizing but efforts became serious as COVID-19 became widespread. The employee said at the time that schedules remained essentially the same with little recognition of the elevated risks. The workers wanted more recognition and input into company decisions.

Curaleaf requested an indefinite postponement of a union election at the Hanover dispensary because of the pandemic, but the NLRB ordered a mail-in election, according to an NLRB ruling last May. The results are still uncertain, particularly because of a dispute over the ballots of six Curaleaf workers who were temporarily transferred to Hanover during Massachusetts’ shutdown of adult-use sales in April and May 2020.