The United Farm Workers, Teamsters and United Food and Commercial Workers are looking to unionize the tens of thousands of potential workers involved in the legal weed game, from planters to rollers to sellers. The move could provide a boost to organized labour’s lagging membership – if infighting doesn’t get in the way.
The green rush that begins in 2018 is an opportunity for unions to regain influence that began declining in the late 1950s, said David Zonderman, a professor of labor history at North Carolina State University. But discord between unions could upend it. As could resistance from cannabis-business leaders.
“Are they going to be new-age and cool with it,” Mr. Zonderman said, “or, like other business people, say, ‘Heck, no. We’re going to fight them tooth and nail?'” Last year, California voters approved sales of recreational marijuana to those 21 and older at licensed shops beginning Jan. 1.