A medical dispensary in Massachusetts, one of the biggest cannabis companies in America, was found in violation of labor laws in a cannabis union case filed by employees. Per The Patriot Ledger, a judge found Curaleaf’s Hanover location, which sells everything from pre-rolled cones to concentrates, had engaged in unfair labor practices in cannabis union negotiations among store employees.
Labor Law Judge Ira Sandron issued a 25-page decision earlier this month ruling that Curaleaf had violated labor laws when they tried to intervene as their employees successfully unionized its location in Hanover. The company simply got simply a slap on the wrist as punishment. Judge Ira Sandron ruled that Curaleaf can no longer engage in any activity that would prohibit employees from unionizing. Additionally, Sandron said that Curaleaf must post a legal notice informing employees that they are allowed to join unions for 60 days.
The issue came after employees at the Hanover medical dispensary voted in favor of unionizing on April 9th, 2020, making it the first location to do so. The momentum to unionize picked up and another vote took place in May and June. While the employees hoped to move forward smoothly, Curaleaf filed to appeal the results of the vote. Finally, the votes came in with 8-3 in favor of creating a union.
The United Food and Commercial Workers Union filed a complaint against Curaleaf to the National Labor Relations Board on allegations that employees were illegally interrogated, terminated, and transferred based on their support for the union. However, Judge Sandron dismissed those specific claims against Curaleaf.
Sandron said that Patrik Jonsson, Curaleaf MA President, CEO Joseph Lusardi, and Human Resources Director Kerin Orlandi attempted to sway two workers by suggesting that they would receive better benefits and working conditions if they went against the unionizing efforts.
Curaleaf’s regional public director Stephanie Cunha said the employers are “best-served dealing directly with our management team” in a statement, though she added that they respect workers’ choice to unionize.
“As always, we will continue to prioritize creating a positive, supportive and inclusive work environment for all Team Members and provide our patients and customers with the excellent service they expect and deserve from Curaleaf,” said Cunha.