Michigan Limits Cannabis Worker Protections with Industry Rules Update

An update to Michigan’s cannabis industry regulations will no longer require operators in the space to maintain labor peace agreements, which are meant to protect the industry and its workers.

Full story after the jump.

New cannabis industry rules take effect this week in Michigan, including updated labor rules that no longer require operators to maintain labor peace agreements, according to an MLive report. The new Marijuana Regulatory Agency rules also fail to include delivery-only business licenses and a clause that would have allowed the state to force sales between cultivators and retailers even though they might be competitors under the state’s vertical integration system.

The labor peace agreement rule would have required any cannabusiness to have a labor agreement in place with employees. Marijuana Regulatory Agency Director Andrew Brisbo explained that the proposed rules would have protected the industry and its workers.

“A labor peace agreement is an agreement between an operator and a recognized labor organization just to ensure that both sides come to the table, that the business owner won’t stand in the way of organization by the staff of the facility and that the labor organization wouldn’t push the labor force into a strike situation.” – Brisbo to MLive

Republican State Sen. Aric Nesbitt described the agreements as “a Mob-style shakedown of these new businesses that are growing.”

“At least the Mob lets you get going first. They won’t even issue a license unless you sign one of these labor peace agreements,” he said in an interview with MLive.

In a press release, the MRA said the rules “implement, administer and enforce appropriate standards for marijuana businesses and associated equipment and establish regulations ensuring the safety, security, and integrity of the operation of marijuana businesses and are intended to provide clarity and consistency to those working in both the medical and adult-use markets.”

The rules are largely final versions of emergency rules the state had been operating under; however, the labor peace agreement had been divisive. In January the Republican-controlled state legislature passed concurrent resolutions opposing the agreements.

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