Workers Unionize at Grand Rapids, Michigan Dispensary

This week marked the second collective bargaining agreement in the Michigan cannabis industry after workers at Ascend Cannabis Provisions in Grand Rapids voted to join the Teamsters Local 406.

Full story after the jump.

Workers at Grand Rapids, Michigan’s Ascend Cannabis Provisions on Thursday voted to join the Teamsters Local 406. It is the second collective bargaining agreement in the Michigan cannabis industry that the Teamsters have ratified, and the first in the Western part of the state. 

In a statement, Peter Finn, Teamsters Western Region International vice president and Food Processing Division director, described the contract as a “gust of wind before the tornado of new organizing in the state.” 

“I have total faith that the profit-generating workers in cannabis – the ones who sell, harvest, and deliver the product – have what it takes to seize what they deserve. They will make cannabis a prosperous, middle-class career. Critical victories like this one keep happening throughout the country.” — Finn in a press release 

The agreement includes an immediate raise with a 3% wage increase for all workers each following year, guaranteed gratuities and increased transparency around the way they are distributed, guaranteed discounts, seniority, protections from unjust termination and discipline, enhanced safety for drivers, and more paid time off. 

Ellis Wood, secretary-treasurer of Local 406, called the contract “proof that workers are sharp, energetic, tenacious in the organizing of new industries.” 

“These young men and women took on a multi-state operator with billions of dollars and won,” Wood said in a statement. “They are a critical component of a nationwide fight for a better tomorrow in this craft.” 

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