Cannabis dispensary employees in Deptford vote to accept union contract

New contract includes wage increases, both future and retroactive, improved health care access and paid federal holidays

marijuana buds on white background. Close up of a marijuana flower

The United Food and Commercial Workers union, Local 360, on Tuesday said Columbia Care Inc.’s Cannabist retail location in Deptford voted to ratify its first labor contract.

The unanimous vote guarantees dispensary associates and senior dispensary associates wage increases that are retroactive to March.

The contract comes more than a year after Cannabist employees petitioned the National Labor Relations Board to support their push to unionize with UFCW.

Workers at Cannabist elected to unionized to ensure their rights were protected and acknowledged as New Jersey’s cannabis industry evolves and expands. That push to unionize, gave employees a voice and critical resources from Local 360, which led directly to the development of this first contract.

“With this unanimous contract vote, workers at Cannabist have taken a big step towards a better future for themselves and for their families,” Sam Ferraino Jr., UFCW Local 360 president, said. “It’s a testament to their determination and their commitment to this industry. They deserve every congratulations.”

Columbia Care’s Cannabist dispensary in Deptford is the company’s first U.S. location to unionize. Columbia Care is currently licensed in 18 U.S. jurisdictions and bills itself as one of the largest and most experienced cultivators, manufacturers and providers of cannabis products and services in the nation.

From seed to sale, UFCW is a recognized leader in organizing cannabis industry employees and is the official AFL-CIO-designated cannabis labor union.