Adding jobs to the economy in the budding cannabis industry

The cannabis industry is taking off in many states where it has been legalized for recreational purposes. Some unions see opportunity in the new industry, which could potentially create tens of thousands of new jobs.

Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union/United Food and Commercial Workers Local 338 Political and Communications Director Nikki Kateman joined the AWF Union Podcast to explain what the cannabis industry can do for the American economy. She also discussed working during a pandemic and how their union’s workers were treated.

Growing the cannabis industry

Kateman laid out a slate of reasons to expand the cannabis industry, and hopes the workers in this field will seek union representation. The future is huge, as the process of growing, harvesting and distributing cannabis can generate thousands of jobs.

The industry faces an uphill battle due to years of negative perception and a federal government that has avoided action on the issue. Marijuana is still illegal at the federal level, but more states are legalizing its use.

Kateman believes one of the largest challenges to legalize marijuana will be allowing the product to be moved across state lines, as the distribution of cannabis from state-to-state will create good-paying trucking jobs. She said the solution is to legalize marijuana at the federal level, which will create some pushback from states who currently criminalize the drug.

The reward for cities and states is twofold, she explained. The product is heavily taxed in places where it is legal, which generates funds for the state, county and local governments. The jobs associated with the industry will also create tax revenue and help residents support themselves and their families.

Working through a pandemic

Essential workers became one of the central themes of the COVID-19 pandemic. Grocery workers, gas station attendants and other low-wage workers were suddenly called heroes, but have not seen much of a financial benefit.

Kateman said the pandemic showed workers why union representation is important. Non-union workers were often left with no personal protective equipment or were left to fend for themselves, while union workers were often better protected.


America’s Work Force Radio Podcast is available on iTunes, Google Play and wherever you stream your podcasts.

Listen on Apple Podcasts

Listen on Google Podcasts

Listen on Spotify

Listen on iHeart Radio


AMERICA’S WORK FORCE IS THE ONLY DAILY LABOR-RADIO PROGRAM IN THE US AND HAS BEEN ON THE AIR SINCE 1993, SUPPLYING LISTENERS WITH USEFUL, RELEVANT INPUT INTO THEIR DAILY LIVES THROUGH FACT-FINDING FEATURES, IN-DEPTH INTERVIEWS, INFORMATIVE NEWS SEGMENTS AND PRACTICAL CONSUMER REPORTS. AMERICA’S WORK FORCE IS COMMITTED TO PROVIDING AN ACCESSIBLE VENUE IN WHICH AMERICA’S WORKERS AND THEIR FAMILIES CAN HEAR DISCUSSION ON IMPORTANT, RELEVANT TOPICS SUCH AS EMPLOYMENT, HEALTHCARE, LEGISLATIVE ACTION, LABOR-MANAGEMENT RELATIONS, CORPORATE PRACTICES, FINANCES, LOCAL AND NATIONAL POLITICS, CONSUMER REPORTS AND LABOR ISSUES.

AMERICA’S WORK FORCE RADIO IS BROUGHT TO YOU IN PART BY OUR SPONSORS AMERICAN FEDERATION OF GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES, AFL-CIO, AMERICAN FEDERATION OF MUSICIANS, BMA MEDIA GROUP, COLUMBUS-CENTRAL OHIO BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION TRADES COUNCIL, COMMUNICATION WORKERS OF AMERICA, HEAT AND FROST INSULATORS AND ALLIED WORKERS, INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF MACHINISTS AND AEROSPACE WORKERS, INTERNATIONAL UNION OF PAINTERS AND ALLIED TRADES DISTRICT COUNCIL 6, KELLEY & FERRARO, LLP,  LABOR CITIZEN MAGAZINE, LABORERS INTERNATIONAL UNION OF NORTH AMERICA, NORTH COAST AREA LABOR FEDERATION, MARITIME TRADES DEPARTMENT, OHIO FEDERATION OF TEACHERS-AMERICAN FEDERATION OF TEACHERS, UNITED AUTO WORKERS, UNITED LABOR AGENCY, UNITED STEELWORKERS.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.