Cannabis workers unionize

Forty-eight employees at Advanced Grow Labs in West Haven, Connecticut, have formed a union with the United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW) Local 919, making them the first cannabis workers in the state to do so. The workers came together in pursuit of higher wages, improved benefits, and increased workplace protections.

UFCW Local 919 President Mark A. Espinosa expressed excitement at the prospect of bargaining a contract and setting the standard for all cannabis workers in Connecticut. He encouraged other cannabis workers in the state to join the movement. Organizing Director Emily Sabo added that unionization would uplift the Connecticut cannabis industry and create living wage jobs.

A spokesperson for Advanced Grow Labs said “Green Thumb respects the rights of our employees, including the fundamental right to freedom of association. We look forward to working together with the UFCW Local 919 toward an inaugural collective bargaining agreement for our employees.”

Advanced Grow Labs workers were inspired to form their union by tens of thousands of other workers across the US who have done the same with the UFCW. The organization represents a significant number of cannabis workers nationwide, and its Cannabis Workers Rising campaign seeks to advance the development and stabilization of the emerging cannabis industry while supporting good jobs in Connecticut and across the country.