UFCW unionizes workers at Illinois cannabis retail store

The United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW) scored another win in its mission to recruit more members in the marijuana industry when employees at a Sunnyside cannabis retail store in Champaign, Illinois, voted to ratify their first union contract.

Sunnyside is owned and operated by Chicago-based marijuana multistate operator Cresco Labs.

The 22 retail workers will be represented by Local 881 of the UFCW union, according to a news release.

This marks the third Local 881 union contract ratified by Illinois cannabis workers in the past two years.

According to the release, Local 881 negotiated a contract on the workers’ behalf that addressed many of their concerns, including:

  • Annual wage increases.
  • A ratification bonus.
  • Guaranteed paid time off.
  • A set employee product discount.
  • A grievance procedure related to disciplinary actions.

Expert advice for a stronger shelf life

Learn the fundamentals for getting started in cannabis retail in this comprehensive guide curated by the editors at MJBizDaily with help from industry experts.

Inside the MJBizDaily Retail Buyers Guide:
  • Learn best practices for designing a cannabis dispensary.
  • Select display infrastructure that supports industry compliance.
  • Choose the right point-of-sale system for your operation.
  • How to incorporate e-commerce and home delivery.
  • And more!


As of the end of 2021, the UFCW represented roughly 10,000 workers in the legal U.S. marijuana sector.

Last year, the labor union won a series of unionization votes beyond Illinois, including California, MassachusettsNew Jersey and New York.