Cannabliss Employees Become First in District to Unionize

Employees at the 100% Black-owned and operated Cannabliss dispensary unanimously voted last week to become the first in Washington DC to unionize.

Full story after the jump.

Workers at Cannabliss last week became the first in the District to unionize, voting unanimously to ratify a collective bargaining agreement with United Food and Commercial Workers International (UFCW) Local 400.

Cannabliss is the only 100 percent Black-owned and operated dispensary in Washington, D.C. The five-year pact covers 13 staff.

Norbert Pickett, owner of DC Holistic Wellness, home of the Cannabliss dispensary, said in a statement that the union contract offers “employees greater pay, paid time off, and paid holidays, as well as retirement plans, additional accredited training and health care insurance.”

Additionally, the contract guarantees pay increases every six months in addition to an annual cost of living wage adjustment, paid time off for vacations, personal days, bereavement, and to vote, protection from unjust discipline or termination, and grievance procedures to resolve disputes with management. Healthcare benefits are provided through UFCW National Health and Welfare Fund.

The contract agreement with Cannabliss is part of a growing trend of cannabis industry workers voting to unionize. UFCW says it represents more than 10,000 industry employees nationwide.

Mark Federici, UFCW Local 400 president, said that in the “emerging” cannabis industry, “it is critical that we establish the highest possible job standard, with living wages and comprehensive benefits.”

“By taking this historic step, these workers have set a meaningful precedent for the cannabis industry in the District,” he said in a statement.

UCFW Local 400 represents 35,000 members working in the grocery, retail, health care, food processing, service and other industries in Maryland, Virginia, Washington, D.C., West Virginia, Ohio, Kentucky, and Tennessee.

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