(LOS ANGELES) – A cannabis cultivator who just last week reached a labor peace agreement with Teamsters Joint Council 42 for the right to organize some 150 employees at his three facilities in the city has been forced to shut down one location after a police raid resulted in a nearly $2 million loss for the company.
Police, alleging THC Design was stealing power to grow marijuana on-site, entered the building and seized the plants even though the company was compliant with state law. As a result of the lost product, the company announced it will need to shutter the facility, putting about 50 employees out of work. Since April, the company has been raided twice by authorities.
“This business owner has been doing everything he has to under the law,” said Kristin Heidelbach, a Teamsters international representative and Director of the Cannabis Division for Joint Councils 7 and 42. “They are finding ridiculous reasons to go in and do this.”
Questionable raids of cannabis facilities in Los Angeles and across the state are nothing new. Due to numerous changes in regulations, companies are often found to be in violation of the law. The Teamsters, who have signed multiple agreements with cannabis-related companies in California, have repeatedly lobbied on behalf of the industry.
“These companies are helping people and healing people,” Heidelbach said. “We are supporting a very legitimate industry.”
Ryan Jennemann, THC Design’s lead consultant, said he was grateful for the union’s efforts. “I would like to thank the Teamsters for standing up for workers in this burgeoning industry who are being hurt by raids like these that take away good-paying jobs which benefit not only them, but the economy as a whole,” he said. “Businesses that are following the law should not be harassed just because they are part of the cannabis industry.”
Founded in 1903, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters represents 1.4 million hardworking men and women throughout the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. Visit www.teamster.org for more information. Follow us on Twitter @Teamsters and “like” us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/teamsters.