Greenleaf Compassion Center workers file for union election

Call on company to voluntarily recognize union

Posted 2/22/21

PORTSMOUTH — In what’s being called a milestone moment for cannabis workers and the medical cannabis program in Rhode Island, employees at Greenleaf Compassionate Care Center on West …

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Greenleaf Compassion Center workers file for union election

Call on company to voluntarily recognize union

Posted

PORTSMOUTH — In what’s being called a milestone moment for cannabis workers and the medical cannabis program in Rhode Island, employees at Greenleaf Compassionate Care Center on West Main Road have filed for an election to join the United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 328 (UFCW). Workers delivered a formal request to management on Feb. 16 that they voluntarily recognize the union in the workplace. If not recognized voluntarily, the workers will move forward with a formal election in the coming weeks. The workers of Greenleaf are the first at a Rhode Island compassion center to take the step of organizing with a labor union.

The workers at Greenleaf participating in organizing include budtenders, keyholders, online orderers and delivery associates. Of the 40 employees at Greenleaf, an overwhelming majority have expressed support for unionizing. This is a team of dedicated staff who are passionate about delivering the best care for their patients both at the dispensary and through delivery. 

The letter delivered to the company from the workers states: “We collectively made this decision because we love working at Greenleaf, and want to continue to be able to provide excellent services for our patients. We know that it is our hard work and drive to go above and beyond for our patients, and for each other, that has made it possible for us to set this compassion center apart from other medicinal facilities around the Northeast. Through our partnership with UFCW, we know we will have a stronger voice at our workplace, which will benefit all employees, patients and our company.”

Sam Marvin, director of organizing at UFCW Local 328, said, "Each and every day, this incredible team delivers compassionate care for their patients. We applaud their efforts to come together to build a better and more secured future." 

Greenleaf would become the second unionized cannabis business in the state of Rhode Island, and the first compassion center. UFCW Local 328 currently represents cultivation workers at Ocean State Cultivation Center in Warwick, Rhode Island, who unanimously ratified their first union contract in October 2020. As Rhode Island is set to move forward with expanding the medical marijuana program with six new compassion centers and looks further at legalizing adult recreational use, the efforts of Greenleaf workers and Local 328 should serve as an example for how to guarantee equity and opportunity for workers in this field.

UFCW Local 328 represents over 11,000 workers in a range of industries across Rhode Island and Southeastern Massachusetts.

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