California marijuana testing lab employees vote to join UFCW

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A Santa Rosa marijuana testing lab became the first in California to join the ranks of unionized workers after employees voted unanimously to be represented by the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW).

According to a news release, Sonoma Lab Works employees wholeheartedly backed the unionization move, and the lab will be affiliated with UFCW Local 5.

“While many cannabis dispensary employees have unionized throughout CaliforniaSonoma Lab Works is the first testing laboratory to unionize,” the lab’s CEO, Darius Anderson, said in the release.

The move marks a slight expansion for the UFCW, which had focused almost exclusively on recruiting workers in retail marijuana stores and dispensaries in the U.S. cannabis industry nationwide – though at least one Illinois cultivation facility has also joined the UFCW.

The UFCW’s move into the testing space could signal a broader unionization push is on the horizon.

Unionization in general has been on the rise nationwide for a few years in the marijuana space, and both the UFCW and Teamsters have scored multiple victories in various states with cannabis businesses where employees voted to unionize.