Workers at Ascend marijuana store in Michigan ratify Teamsters union contract

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Budtenders and delivery drivers at an Ascend Wellness Holdings store in Michigan ratified a contract with the International Brotherhood of Teamsters.

The contract covers 20-25 employees at the Ascend Cannabis store on Scribner Avenue in Grand Rapids, Teamsters spokesperson Matt McQuaid told MJBizDaily after Friday’s announcement.

“It is the second collective bargaining agreement in the Michigan cannabis industry that the Teamsters have ratified, and the first in the Western part of the state,” the Teamsters said in a news release.

Workers at an Ascend store in Morenci, Michigan, are also represented by Teamsters, McQuaid said.

The website for New York-based multistate operator Ascend Wellness lists eight total retail locations in Michigan.

“This contract is the gust of wind before the tornado of new organizing in the state,” Peter Finn, Teamsters’ Western Region vice president, said in a statement.

According to the union, the contract includes an immediate pay increase followed by 3% raises each year.

The deal also offers “guaranteed gratuities and increased transparency around the way they are distributed, guaranteed discounts, seniority, protections from unjust termination and discipline, enhanced safety for drivers, and more paid time off.”

Teamsters has made inroads in legal cannabis production and retail in multiple states, with recent contracts with workers in California and Missouri as well as Illinois.

The United Food and Commercial Workers Union also has a significant presence in the cannabis industry.

Meanwhile, some marijuana workers in California have been signing mandatory labor peace agreements with fake unions.