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Cannabis Cultivators Vote to Join Union

Twelve cultivators at the Columbia Care facility in Vineland have voted to join United Food and Commercial Workers Local 152. The vote is the latest in a string of successes for the union’s Cannabis Division.

The workers supported union representation through a majority card check last month, leading to the recent certification of the results by the New Jersey State Board of Mediation. This certification designated Local 152 as the workers’ union.

“We are proud to represent these cannabis cultivators,” Local 152 President Brian String said. “We take seriously their trust in our union. We will ensure their voice is heard and their hard work is respected.”

The cultivators at the facility grow and process cannabis, overseeing its production and preparing it for sale to consumers. Columbia Care is one of the largest and most experienced cultivators, manufacturers and providers of cannabis products in the U.S.

Local 152 will continue to meet with the workers to draft contract proposals and schedule bargaining dates with the company. The cultivators seek wage increases and improvements to their working environment, including training and expanded access to protective equipment.

This organizing win follows another successful cannabis-related drive by Local 152 earlier this year at an MPX facility in Pleasantville, and workers at The Botanist dispensaries in Egg Harbor and Atlantic City ratified a strong first contract with wage increases in June.

“As our Cannabis Division grows, so does our strength at the bargaining table,” President String said. “A fair contract and fair treatment for cannabis workers is possible in New Jersey and beyond.”

Columbia Care’s 270,000-square-foot cultivation plant opened a year ago. The company also operates a 50,000-square-foot facility in the city and a retail outlet, Cannabist on North Delsea Drive.