Workers unionize at Verano marijuana dispensary in Illinois

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Employees at a Zen Leaf marijuana store in Chicago voted to join Teamsters Local 777.

The store, in the Pilsen neighborhood, is the second Zen Leaf outlet to sign up with the Local 777. A Zen Leaf store in Lombard, Illinois, joined the Teamsters in February.

Zen Leaf is owned by Illinois-based multistate operator Verano Holdings.

Teamsters Local 777 has had a string of successes unionizing cannabis workers in Illinois, including employees at Green Thumb Industries, Verilife (PharmaCann) and Enlightened Dispensary (Revolution Global).

Across the country, the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW) has been the primary organization to unionize marijuana workers.

According to a Teamsters news release, the most recent Zen Leaf unionization effort was successful even though the company fired union supporters during the campaign.

Meanwhile, after a roughly 16-month delay, workers at the Greenleaf Compassionate Care Center in Portsmouth, Rhode Island, ratified a contract to join the UFCW Local 328.

The workers voted to unionize in April 2021.

But two months later, according to Cannabis Business Times, the workers went on strike to support a worker on the union bargaining committee who was fired by Greenleaf.

The employee was rehired about six months later after the Local 328 filed charges with the National Labor Relations Board, Cannabis Business Times reported, setting the stage for the ratification vote.