Cannabis Workers are Rising
From the beginning of New Jersey’s medical cannabis program to the recent passage of adult recreational use, UFCW Local 152 has advocated for social equity and cannabis policies in New Jersey that protect and support workers. The UFCW has testified at many council meetings across the state in support of workers and the industry during a time when many towns had a knee-jerk reaction to banning adult use. As a labor union, we recognized that the cannabis industry was an opportunity for New Jersey workers to make a career in a newly regulated market with strong wages and benefits that cannot be outsourced.
Our goal remains the same: help workers in the medical and adult-use cannabis industry get the best contracts possible.
We are committed to building and setting a high standard for a successful cannabis industry in the Garden State. We believe working in the cannabis industry, which may have started as a dream job for many workers, can be a strong and dignified career.
UFCW is the Cannabis Workers’ Union
On a national level, the UFCW represents thousands of cannabis workers across the United States. UFCW members in the cannabis industry work in dispensaries, labs, delivery, kitchens, manufacturing, processing, grow facilities, and more — helping workers secure better wages, protection from unfair discipline, and great benefits with a union contract. By supporting targeted legislative efforts, along with negotiating the best contracts for workers, we’ve been able to set high standards throughout the industry.
If you work in the cannabis industry and are interested in learning more about unionizing your workplace, please contact Mike Thompson at firstname.lastname@example.org or fill out our completely confidential Union Interest Form.
Cannabis Workers Rising: Get updates on cannabis union activity around the country on the UFCW’s official cannabis Instagram, @cannabisworkersrising
Latest UFCW Cannabis News
Curaleaf workers from the Edgewater Park, NJ dispensary came together to join UFCW Local 360.
More than 80 delivery drivers from Hometown Heart (Eaze) voted to approve their first union contract with UFCW Local 5.
Harmony Dispensary workers in Secaucus, New Jersey joined UFCW Local 360.
The Sunnyside Dispensary workers in Cincinnati, Ohio voted to approve their first union contract with UFCW Local 75.
Labor Peace Agreements with UFCW Local 152
The New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory, Enforcement Assistance, and Marketplace Modernization (CREAMM) Act requires all license applicants to enter into a labor peace agreement (LPA) with a bona fide labor organization. 
UFCW is the labor union representing cannabis workers in New Jersey and has entered into hundreds of labor peace agreements. Currently, UFCW represents cannabis workers at all the Verano/Zen Leaf locations, Garden State Dispensary/Ayr locations, and Justice Grown dispensaries and cultivation sites; additionally, UFCW is currently negotiating with the Botanist, GTI, Harmony, Columbia Care, Cureleaf, and Ascend. As more cannabis companies open, the list of represented workers will continue to grow.
The above map of New Jersey shows cannabis facilities represented by UFCW. Additionally, UFCW is in negotiations with:
- Columbia Care
- Green Thumb Industries/RISE
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a labor peace agreement?
A labor peace agreement (LPA) is a written document between a bona fide labor union and an employer seeking a cannabis license in the state of New Jersey. LPAs ensure the employer stays neutral during a union organizing campaign. At the same time, the union agrees to refrain from any activity that can hurt the employer economically.
What is the benefit of having a labor peace agreement?
With a labor peace agreement, workers have an easier path to unionizing than a typical organizing campaign. Workers with an LPA at their workplace are not automatically union members; however, having an LPA in place creates a clear, drama-free path for workers if unionizing becomes something they want.
Workers who come together in solidarity can achieve strong contracts.
What is a “bona fide union”?
A bona fide labor union is not just any union. It is a legitimate union, which is often defined as a union that actively represents workers in the industry regarding wages, hours, and working conditions. It is a union whose officers have been elected by the union membership through a secret ballot election or otherwise in a manner consistent with federal law. Finally, it is a union that is free from domination or interference by an employer.
Building Cannabis Careers
1 – Value
The UFCW seeks to establish a professional livelihood for all our members.
We have a long and proud history of advocacy for workers, their families and the communities they serve in other highly regulated sectors, such as agriculture, pharmaceutical, distillery manufacturing and meat processing.
Through our apprenticeship and safety and health programs, the UFCW works with regulators to ensure high quality products and safe workplaces.
Professionalizing the cannabis industry can offer local communities jobs with strong wages, benefits, and career development opportunities. Across America, communities are benefiting from a thriving cannabis economy. In many of those states, cannabis workers are building professional
careers with the UFCW.
2 – Respect
We’re also building respect for our profession with state and local governments. Together we stand up for:
- Supporting good employers that provide good jobs through smart zoning and licensing rules
- Recognition and training for professionalism,
including jointly-managed apprenticeship training
- Worker-first rules that
protect the safety and security of cannabis
workers, while ensuring accountability in the sale
of a controlled substance
- Promoting workplace and
- Encouraging employer collaborations, highlighting the best practices in the industry.