NYUP.com Article: Marijuana businesses and NY labor unions: Cannabis Insider Q&A

clause within the state’s Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act says anyone seeking a license must first execute a peace agreement with a “bona fide labor organization.” That mandate has unions eyeing the tens of thousands of workers expected to enter the marketplace, said Nikki Kateman, the political and communications director for Local 338 RWDSU/UFCW.

“This is going to be a really good opportunity to build an industry from the ground up, and do it right,” Kateman said.

Since 2016, Local 338 has secured collective bargaining agreements with six of New York’s 10 registered medical marijuana companies, she said, and the union represents about 70% of the overall workforce — or roughly 500 employees.

Local 338 is banking on that experience to entice cannabis workers throughout the emerging market.

“Our ultimate goal is here: We want this industry to succeed because we want workers to succeed,” she said.

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Kateman will co-host a panel on cannabis industry staffing and recruitment as part of New York Cannabis Insider’s half-day conference on Thursday, Oct. 28. (Tickets are available here). What follows is a Q&A in advance of the event. It is edited for length and clarity.

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