Verano marijuana retail workers ratify union contracts in Illinois

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Employees at two Illinois marijuana retail locations owned by multistate operator Verano Holdings ratified collective bargaining agreements, according to the International Brotherhood of Teamsters.

The contract ratifications at Zen Leaf stores in the Pilsen neighborhood of Chicago and the Village of Lombard come after workers at both stores voted last year to join the Teamsters.

Workers at the Lombard store voted in favor of unionization in February 2022; employees at the Pilsen location voted to join the union in August 2022.

“The workers at the Pilsen and Lombard locations worked incredibly hard and demonstrated remarkable tenacity, and that’s why they both secured great collective bargaining agreements for themselves,” Teamsters Local 777 President Jim Glimco said in a statement.

The Teamsters’ latest successful cannabis retail unionization campaigns follow other recent wins for organized labor in the legal marijuana sector:

  • Workers represented by Teamsters Local 777 at two other Zen Leaf locations in Illinois reached tentative agreements with Verano in July.
  • Employees at a Columbia Care-owned store in New Jersey represented by the United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW) approved a contract.
  • Workers at Cresco Labs-owned Sunnyside cannabis retail stores in Illinois have also joined Teamsters Local 777.

Overall, both the Teamsters and UFCW have made significant inroads in the U.S. cannabis industry.