Two roads for cannabis retail workers under broader legalization

Low road High road
Dispensaries adopt typical retail compensation practices, with low pay and few benefits. Cannabis dispensaries are compelled to provide decent wages and benefits because either or all of the following occur: strong job quality licensing rules are implemented, policymakers enact broad reform of labor standards, or–most easily–policies such as LPAs safeguard union organizing rights.
Cannabis workers are subjected to irregular and unpredictable work schedules, leading to unstable incomes, higher mental stress, and work-life conflict. Unions ensure that cannabis retailers follow fair scheduling practices and promote full-time work.
Employers rely on increased labor supply from decriminalization and declining cannabis stigma to keep wages low and tolerate high turnover. Union-based training and certification programs help develop knowledgeable sales staff and ensure compliance with dispensary safety regulations.
Cannabis retail workers in the high-road scenario would, on average, make an estimated $2,810 more in annual wages than under the low-road scenario. 
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