The Colorado Cannabis Company, Nature’s Root Labs, is breaking new ground by union building
The Colorado cannabis landscape is changing and union formation is coming into the industry. Nature’s Root Labs in Longmont, Colorado just unionized workers through United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW).
Nature’s Root Labs sells CBD to Union Harvest in Florida, a company that uses the raw product to bring cannabidiol-rich CBD offerings to its customers. Now the company has an official agreement with the UFCW that gives the company’s workers a legal union option.
“[The] The agreement between UFCW and these companies in Longmont, Colorado is the first unionized CBD joint venture of its kind, setting a precedent for the unionization of even more workers in the industry, ”said the UFCW press release.
After this step, there is now the option to unionize more cannabis companies with multiple locations or licenses in other states. In the past, this has deterred companies from taking such a move due to the federal illegality of cannabis and the segregation between various state laws.
Other states have already begun unionizing legal cannabis, including California, another early proponent of both the recreational and medicinal cannabis industries. Colorado is a little behind, however, as the state didn’t create its first cannabis-related workers’ union until 2021.
Even Illinois has already managed to unite in union organizations. Cresco Labs in Joliet, Illinois voted to union with the United Food and Commercial Workers in January 2020, becoming the first cannabis company in the state to have a union.
The future of Nature’s Root Labs with UFCW
The workers became part of UFCW Local 881, and according to Steve Powell, president of that union, the UFCW “was proud of these workers and looks forward to working with them to negotiate a fair and equitable contract that will improve their working conditions. ”
Now that there is an option to protect workers’ rights and legally organize the cannabis industry, many industry insiders and lawyers believe this will be a step in a positive direction that will lead to even more industry growth.
“This is likely to increase employee benefits and employee wages,” said Whitney Traylor, legal analyst at 9NEWS. “It might come at a cost in other places, but I think the immediate impact you will see [wil be] Other unions are emerging in Colorado and other states. “
According to Traylor, this step isn’t a small one. This could have a huge impact on the industry as a whole, as unions have been challenged for some time, but it is not a simple or straightforward process to get them started.
She explains that the fact that Nature’s Root Labs have been able to do this across the state lines between Colorado and Florida is a big deal and could have a bigger impact on cannabis unions in general, not just in Colorado.
“Some proponents have said that partnering with a national labor organization made politicians trust them because it meant civil servants working with a trusted partner,” Traylor said. “I think we will see a change in the job market. How far from a change? How much change? The time will tell. “A good relationship with our employees is important and a signed union contract is part of that,” Union Harvest CEO and founder Justin Eisenach said in a statement to UFCW. “Now consumers have a choice when they buy CBD and can buy unionized, packaged, unionized products in the US.”
With this bold new step, Nature’s Root Labs employees can create a just and fair working environment, and cannabis workers in Colorado and other states will have more hope of organizing and unionizing in the future.