Unions want to organize Illinois' marijuana industry

Ally Marotti, Chicago Tribune on

Published in Business News

"That can be a real stabilizing dynamic," he said. "These elections for union certification become really important signals of what the standards are going to be in the industry."

The United Food & Commercial Workers union already represents more than 10,000 cannabis workers in more than a dozen states, Koutsky said.

The vote at Cresco isn't the first effort among Illinois cannabis workers to organize. A vote last month by employees at Green Thumb Industries' grow facility in Rock Island to join the International Brotherhood of Teamsters narrowly failed.

Illinois dispensaries sold more than $19.7 million of recreational marijuana in the first 12 days of sales. The stores have battled long lines and shortages, and at times halted recreational sales. Some dispensaries also closed for a day to give employees a break. Still, Illinois has seen some of the strongest early days of sales in the history of legal weed.

"This is Illinois. The labor movement is strong and thriving here," Koutsky said. "We are in the new law going forward, which means we will be in the industry."


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