Two roads for cannabis cultivation workers under broader legalization
View the underlying data on epi.org.
|Low road||High road|
|As in typical commercial agriculture, workers are paid low wages, often per piece rather than a guaranteed hourly wage. Few, if any, workplace benefits are offered.||Workers receive adequate, guaranteed hourly wages, because either or both of the following occur, allowing unionized cultivation workers to bargain for wages and benefits: Federal labor law is reformed to provide organizing rights to farmworkers; vertical integration (companies handling all tasks) in cannabis continues, allowing cultivation workers to bargain along with other types of cannabis workers.|
|Employers use carveouts for agriculture in federal wage and hour (Fair Labor Standards Act) and labor law (National Labor Relations Act) to avoid paying overtime, undermine organizing efforts, and contract out work to farm labor contractors (FLCs).||Labor peace agreements, which prevent union-busting by employers in exchange for workers’ pledge not to strike, encourage labor organizing. Cultivation workers use their organizing rights to bargain for fair compensation and benefits, fair scheduling, and safe working conditions.|
|Businesses exploit unauthorized immigrants and use the flawed H2-B visa system to fill cannabis cultivation jobs with migrant workers who have little bargaining power to demand higher pay or report abuses.|
|Cannabis cultivation workers in the high-road scenario could, on average, make an estimated $7,030 more in annual wages than under the low-road scenario.|