US (NM): Cannabis Control Division considers union agreements as part of licensure

As part of the process to set up an adult-use cannabis industry in New Mexico, the state’s Regulation and Licensing Department and its Cannabis Control Division held a public rulemaking hearing on December 1st regarding residual solvents in cannabis manufacturing and requiring employers to work with labor unions. The proposal to require cannabis businesses to enter into a labor peace agreement with a labor union, as a condition of state licensure, did not receive much support during the hearing. 

The labor agreement proposal, if approved by RLD Superintendent Linda Trujillo, would require employers to enter into an agreement with a “bonafide labor organization that is actively engaged in representing or attempting to represent the applicant’s employees,” and that agreement would have to be “an ongoing material condition of licensure.”

However, the proposal would also prohibit a labor union from organizing protests against the company. “For purposes of this section, a labor peace agreement between a cannabis establishment and a bona fide labor organization includes protecting the state’s interests by, at a minimum, prohibiting the labor organization from engaging in picketing, work stoppages, or boycotts against the cannabis establishment,” the proposal reads. 

Timo Serna, who said he was in favor of requiring labor agreements during his testimony and that he plans on opening a cannabis microbusiness with the hopes of expanding, argued that prohibiting strikes and walk-outs strips the rules of any effectiveness. “That takes away all the power that the employees have, and being a part of a union becomes largely symbolic because all that’s governing that is pieces of paper at that point,” Serna said. “There’s nothing else that is going to ensure that employees’ voices are going to be heard.”

Read the complete article at nmpoliticalreport.com.


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