180-plus marijuana workers unionize in Illinois and California

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More than 100 employees at Illinois marijuana stores and 80 at a California cannabis delivery service are joining unions.

Teamsters Local 777 reached a tentative agreement with workers at five different marijuana stores owned by Verilife, a subsidiary of PharmaCann, in the Chicagoland area.

The collective bargaining agreement covers more than 100 workers at Verilife stores in Chicago and suburban Arlington Heights, Ottawa, Romeoville and Rosemont, according to a news release.

The tentative arrangement – reached amid an ongoing labor action at three Rise stores in the Chicago area owned by multistate operator Green Thumb Industries – include:

  • A 20% wage increase over the lifetime of the agreement.
  • More full-time positions.
  • Guaranteed gratuities.
  • Employer-funded retirement contributions.

Meanwhile, the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 5, which represents 30,000 food and retail workers across the San Francisco Bay Area, has unionized another 80 cannabis delivery drivers at Eaze’s operations in San Jose, California.

The agreement is the fifth Eaze depot to elect union representation with UFCW Local 5 in the past year, according to a release.

Workers of Ease subsidiary Stachs joined the UFCW in 2020.

The UFCW Local 5 represents about 1,000 cannabis workers across the Bay Area.