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Local 338: New York’s First and Only Cannabis Union


Local 338 Retail, Wholesale, Department Store Union/ United Food and Commercial Workers (RWDSU/UFCW) is New York State’s one and only cannabis workers union.

Local 338 RWDSU/UFCW first introduced cannabis workers into their organization in 2015, soon after the introduction of NY’s medical marijuana program. With recreational (i.e. adult use) cannabis sales off to a slow start here in New York State, Local 338 is actively advocating for higher-paying jobs and fair treatment of workers throughout the cannabis industry.

Expectations for job creation in the state are massive with early studies projecting up to 30,000 new jobs will be created by legal cannabis. Local 338 is making sure NY’s cannabis industry evolves into the job-creation machine that’s been promised by fostering a pipeline of sustainable careers, and eventually secure retirement, for cannabis workers.

Local 338 RWDSU/UFCW organization represents around 13,000 workers, and anywhere from 500-600 workers across both the medical and adult-use cannabis industry. Here in Western New York, they represent approximately 40 workers, many of whom work for the State’s registered organizations like Green Thumb Industries (RISE), PharmaCann, and MedMen.

These companies run vertically integrated medical marijuana dispensary operations, and Local 338 represents cannabis workers employed along the full supply chain. Local 338 covers a variety of industries with a strong focus on retail workers and has represented workers since the 1920s. The cannabis business has close ties to retail, so it only made sense for Local 338 to bring cannabis workers under their umbrella.

Local 338 is available for cannabis companies that are seeking a place in NY’s legal cannabis marketplace by offering Labor Peace Agreements (LPA), which are required for the application regardless of which license type or how many employees a business will be employing.

As an established labor organization, they can help fulfill this legal requirement for cannabis businesses that have been awarded a conditional license or who are hoping to win a license. A labor peace agreement is an agreement between a Union and an employer under which both parties agree to waive certain rights under Federal law with regard to workers’ right to form a union. For more information, please visit or call Local 338 at 516-294-1338 ext. 1420.


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