Green power: Pennsylvania cannabis farmers unionise

Staff at a medical marijuana company in Pennsylvania have become the first cannabis workers in the state to unionise.

United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1776 Keystone State and Vireo Health International announced that workers at Pennsylvania Medical Solutions voted overwhelmingly to ratify a Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA).

Pennsylvania Medical Solutions is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Vireo, a multi-state cannabis company.

“This is a fantastic contract for our members and a great win for the future of all workers in the cannabis industry,” said UFCW 1776KS president, Wendell Young IV.

The workers are the first cannabis workers in Virginia to unionise

“I am very proud of the role that UFCW has played in helping to bring collective bargaining to the cannabis industry and help create good-paying jobs in Pennsylvania.

“I want to thank our union bargaining committee and Vireo Health for their hard work on this contract.”

The three-year agreement includes several provisions put in place to benefit Vireo employees, such as competitive starting wages, access to affordable and high-quality healthcare, guaranteed annual wage increases, a paid time-off programme, and an employer-funded retirement plan.

It also includes safety provisions, and anti-discrimination language and establishes procedures for grievance and arbitration matters.

“As a socially responsible business, Vireo is deeply committed to its employees and is proud to be a union employer,” said Kyle Kingsley, CEO of Vireo Health.

“We believe that a unionised workforce is key to our company’s success and look forward to partnering with UFCW to support legislation, such as legalising adult-use cannabis, that will help create thousands of new middle-class jobs across the Keystone State.”