Union Nixes Attempt to Organize Workers at NJ Dispensary

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Marijuana businesses hoping for some potential legal guidance on unionization from a case in New Jersey won’t get any insight on the issue after all.

The expected court fight over a medical marijuana dispensary in the state that allegedly engaged in anti-union activity has dissolved.

A hearing before the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) scheduled for Wednesday was canceled because the United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW) withdrew its petition to organize workers at the Compassionate Care Foundation dispensary in New Jersey, according to NJ.com.

While no explanation for the withdrawal was given, Compassionate Care co-founder David Knowlton told the news outlet that he thought the drive for his employees to unionize had dissipated somewhat, since several who led the initial charge have since resigned.

The spat originated last fall, when a reported majority of employees at the dispensary asked UFCW Local 152 to represent them. But Knowlton and the dispensary’s board rejected the deal.

Knowlton further retaliated against employees, the UFCW alleged, by slashing hours for workers who were in favor of organizing. Knowlton repeatedly denied the allegations, and has said he wasn’t opposed to his employees joining the UFCW.

In January, the UFCW filed a formal complaint with the NLRB, and a hearing on the matter was scheduled. But the UFCW decided not to drop the issue without comment or fanfare.