In #Rhode Island, employees at #Greenleaf Compassionate #Care Center in #Portsmouth become the first #MMJ #dispensary workers in the state to unionize, through an overwhelming 95 percent #vote of approval. Approximately 28 Greenleaf team members, including #budtenders, #delivery #drivers, and online associates, joined a local chapter of the largest private-sector #labor organization in the country, the #United #Food and Commercial Workers Union. The move was prompted by a reduction in staff benefits, the recent elimination of an employee incentive program, as well as other factors, such as a desire for more participation in the company’s decision-making process. Though Greenleaf management reportedly attempted to discourage workers from unionizing, #CEO Seth Bock says they respect their employees’ right to do so, and believe their #health and #happiness are fundamental to the dispensary’s success. While the shop is the first of the state’s 3 existing compassionate care centers to engage in labor organization, it’s the second Rhode Island cannabis business to unionize, after staff at #Ocean State, a Warwick cultivation facility, unanimously ratified their labor contract under the same UFCW local last year. Union advocates hope the momentum will continue, as Rhode Island expands its #medical marijuana program with 6 additional dispensaries and state legislators consider two separate proposals to legalize #recreational use.
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