NEWS BRIEF

DC medical cannabis dispensary signs five-year labor agreement

A medical cannabis dispensary unionized in Washington DC, an industry first in the nation’s capital, as the marijuana labor movement maintains momentum.

DC Holistic Wellness signed a five-year contract with the United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW), the leader in organizing the marijuana industry.

The agreement adds to the industry’s growing list of labor deals that span from the West Coast to the East Coast.

“This is a win-win for everybody,” said Norbert Pickett, owner of DC Holistic Wellness, in a news release. “It’s a win-win for the business, it’s a win-win for the workers and it’s a win-win for patients, because they’re going to get better care and more stable attention.

“We’re an emerging market, so it’s important we have a highly trained workforce that’s very knowledgeable.”

Recruiting and retaining well-trained workers often are cited as major benefits to unionizing, while drawbacks might include increased costs and decreased flexibility.

The contract covers 13 employees and includes the following provisions:

  • Guaranteed pay increases every six months, in addition to an annual cost-of-living adjustment.
  • Paid time off that includes personal days, bereavement leave and time off to vote.
  • A grievance procedure to resolve disputes with management as well as protection from unjust discipline or firing.
  • Health-care benefits through the UFCW.
  • Accredited training program.
  • Retirement benefits.

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