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HomeCannabusinessCannabis Unionization Efforts Continue To Grow Across Several States

Cannabis Unionization Efforts Continue To Grow Across Several States

Efforts to unionize cannabis have been underway for roughly a decade, with United Food and Commercial Workers noted as a leader in the movement.

By Andrew Ward

Cannabis workers continue to unionize in an increased fashion across several states.

The latest example came on Tuesday when theĀ United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW)Ā announced that cannabis cultivation workers employed at Cresco/Sunnyside in Fall River, Massachusetts, had voted overwhelmingly to approve their first union contract.

Rhode Island Cannabis Workers Go Union
Photo by Add Weed via Unsplash

TheĀ UFCW 328Ā agreement securesĀ guaranteedĀ pay increases,Ā fair schedulingĀ policies, offers importantĀ workplace protectionsĀ andĀ strengthens retirement benefitsĀ and employee discounts. Cresco cultivation workers will seeĀ up to an 18.7% pay increaseĀ over the next three years.

Molly Balbuena, a three-year employee of Cresco in Fall RiverĀ and a member of the negotiating team, said she was proud that her colleagues stuck together.

“We are so excited to have secured the better future and collective voice we were looking for when we formed our union with UFCW. We urge all cannabis workers to come together and say Union Yes!ā€

On Monday theĀ UFCW Local 5Ā in CaliforniaĀ announced it had unionized its first weed industry workers in anĀ agreement that includes over 500 cannabis manufacturers and lab workers from Santa Rosa-based companiesĀ CannaCraft ManufacturingĀ andĀ Sonoma Lab Works.

RELATED: Rhode Island Cannabis Workers Go Union

On June 15, 2021, 39 agriculture workers at Adelanto, California-basedĀ Tikun Olam Cannbit Pharmaceuticals LtdĀ (TLV: TKUN) voted to join theĀ Teamsters Local 1932. The Teamsters said it was “the first Agricultural Labor Relations Board election victory for cannabis workers in Southern California.”

Pandemic Fuels Surge In Cannabis Union Efforts Across America

Efforts to unionize cannabis have been underway for roughly a decade, with UFCW noted as a leader in the movement.

Incremental and notable milestones have been reached, including 2019’s unionization of workers at Philadelphia’sĀ Pennsylvania Medical Solutions, a subsidiary ofĀ GOODNESS GROWTH HLDGS INC.Ā (OTC:GDNSF).

finding business opportunities in the cannabis industry
Photo by FatCamera/Getty Images

The pandemic saw effortsĀ surgeĀ across various states. MJBizDaily reports that the uptick was brought on by job security fears, increased protection for labor organizing and more aggressive union targeting of the industry.

This year has seen agreements reached in several states, including Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Colorado.

RELATED: Why Unions Might Hit The Cannabis Industry Soon Enough

In February, ten members of Somerville, Massachusetts’Ā Liberty CannabisĀ joined UFCW Local 1445 in February 2021.

In April, workers at Portsmouth, Rhode Island’sĀ Greenleaf Compassionate Care CenterĀ joined UFCW Local 32.

In May, Longmont, Colorado-based employees atĀ Union HarvestĀ andĀ Nature’s Root LabsĀ also agreed to joined UFCW.

The Colorado agreement is considered “a first of its kind, across-the-board unionized CBD joint venture that sets a precedent for even more workers in the industry to unionize,” according to a UFCW press release.

This article originally appeared on Benzinga and has been reposted with permission.

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