The United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 360 announced that employees at Columbia Care's CCHWF Cannabist retail location and Acreage Holdings’ ACRHF The Botanist have voted to organize through the UFCW.
Workers at the Cannabist dispensary in Deptford submitted a petition to the National Labor Relations Board that ultimately led to the recent successful vote to organize. In contrast, The Botanist, which had signed on to a state-required Labor Peace Agreement, allowed employees to organize directly with the UFCW and maintained a neutral position throughout the organizing and voting process.
Workers at both companies made the decision to organize to ensure their rights are protected and acknowledged as the fast-growing industry continues to evolve and expand. Union membership also gives employees an important voice in setting and maintaining operating and management standards.
“Across the cannabis industry, a new generation of workers is discovering that labor unions play a critical role in properly balancing the needs of employees, local communities and employers,” said Sam Ferraino, Jr., UFCW Local 360 president. “These votes are a declaration of confidence in what is still a young industry. Workers are telling employers that they are committed to high operating standards, long-term growth and success, and a diverse and skilled workforce supported by good working conditions.”
First To Unionize
The Cannabist dispensary in Deptford is the company’s first U.S. location to unionize. Columbia Care is currently licensed in 18 U.S. jurisdictions. In March 2022, it announced a definitive agreement to be acquired by Cresco Labs CRLBF before the end of the year.
The Botanist, which operates dispensaries for both medical and adult-use markets, has 17 dispensary locations across five states, including three in New Jersey.
“Wherever cannabis is legalized, UFCW is committed to building a successful, responsible industry,” said Hugh Giordano, UFCW Local 360’s director of organizing. “Every vote to unionize represents workers saying they want to be part of something special and they are here for the long-haul. The most successful employers will hear this message and embrace its implications.”
UFCW is the official AFL-CIO designated cannabis labor union. Representing tens of thousands of cannabis workers in dispensaries, labs, delivery, manufacturing, processing, grow facilities and more, the UFCW works with employees and business owners to achieve the shared goal of a regulated cannabis industry that delivers family-sustaining jobs and is focused on social equity.
Photo: Courtesy of The United Food and Commercial Workers union
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