Cannabis union workers at PharmaCann get 20% raise

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Unionized workers at five Chicago-area PharmaCann adult-use cannabis dispensaries have received a 20% wage hike over three years, the latest pay raise secured by organized labor in the marijuana industry.

The increase represents yet another win for organized labor, which continues to pile pressure on major cannabis industry operators across the country.

Last week, workers at PharmaCann’s Verilife dispensaries, who are organized by the International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 777, approved a three-year contract that will see hourly wages increase by 20%, according to Crain’s Chicago Business.

Entry-level pay at some Chicago-area dispensaries is as low as $17 an hour. Wages at unionized dispensaries can start at $19.50 an hour, union officials have told MJBizDaily. 

The Teamsters also represent workers at Green Thumb Industries’ Rise.

A 13-day strike at three Chicago-area Rise stores that began April 19 is believed to be the longest work stoppage in U.S. cannabis history.

Contract negotiations between Green Thumb and Teamster-organized Rise workers is ongoing, according to union officials.

Meanwhile, current and former dispensary workers picketed a dispensary in Missouri, claiming management disciplined or fired employees who tried to organize.

According to the Missouri Independent, nine current or former employees at the Shangri-La South dispensary in Columbia say they were punished after organizing a petition drive to join the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 655.

Management denied the allegations, the newspaper reported, but the current and ex-workers have filed federal complaints alleging violations of U.S. labor law.