Connecticut's cannabis industry could quickly become unionized

Union representatives have signed agreements with dozens of new and existing cannabis businesses in Connecticut, allowing them to launch organizing campaigns geared toward the state’s expanding cannabis workforce, with the state preparing to launch legal cannabis sales early next year.

The United Food and Commercial Workers, which represents tens of thousands of cannabis workers nationwide, is leading the push to unionize the industry in Connecticut.

“The past few months have been really busy. We’ve had an interest in all parts of the state from workers,” said Emily Sabo, director of organizing at UFCW Local 919, which has active organizing campaigns going on at existing medical cannabis grow and retail sites and new cannabis businesses, which have received preliminary approval to operate in the new adult-use market.

Connecticut’s adult-use cannabis law requires businesses to enter into labor peace agreements as a condition of getting a final license, enabling union representatives to organize workers without objection or interference from management.

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