Staffers at Homestate Dispensary, a marijuana retailer in Kansas City, Missouri, “have voted overwhelmingly” to join the Teamsters Local 955 union.
The group of unionizing workers includes budtenders and inventory clerks, the Teamsters said in a news release.
“They are the first group of cannabis workers in the Kansas City metropolitan area to unionize and the first to join Local 955,” the Teamsters noted.
A union spokesperson told MJBizDaily the group includes 11 workers at one Homestate location.
The union has accused Homestate “of threatening employees for discussing the union and firing two workers in retaliation for participating in protected union activity,” Kansas City NPR station KCUR reported.
Those charges are currently before the National Labor Relations Board.
“We’re going to do in Missouri the exact same thing we’re doing in California, Illinois, and every other state where cannabis workers are organizing with our union – fight hard to make careers in this industry sustainable and prosperous over the long term,” Peter Finn, vice president of the Teamsters’ Western Region International and director of the Food Processing Division, said in a statement.
Teamsters and the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) are both involved in unionizing legal marijuana sector workers across the United States.
As the unions’ influence in the cannabis sector grows, some employees have also signed up with sham unions designed to undermine legitimate organized labor activity.