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Cannabis Workers in Connecticut Make History by Joining Local 919

May 24, 2023

Forty-eight workers at Advanced Grow Labs in West Haven, Conn., recently made history by becoming the first cannabis unit in the state to unionize by joining UFCW Local 919. 

Workers at Advanced Grow Labs formed their union with a focus on gaining higher wages, improving benefits, and securing important workplace protections, and Advance Grow Labs honored their decision as part of a Labor Peace Agreement. In 2021, Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont and the state legislature passed legislation to legalize the adult-use of cannabis in Connecticut. The law requires that all cannabis establishment licensees enter into a Labor Peace Agreement with a bona fide labor organization as a condition of its final license approval.

“We are so inspired by the team at Advanced Grow Labs,” said UFCW Local 919 President Mark A. Espinosa. “They are the very first cannabis workers in the state of Connecticut to form their union. We are excited to bargain a contract and set the standard for all cannabis workers in this state. We know there is strength in numbers, and now many workers to come will benefit from the hard work done by these workers at Advanced Grow Labs. We encourage other cannabis workers in this state to join this important movement.”

“The workers at Advanced Grow Labs came together to form their union because they believe in the cannabis industry and they know that forming their union will make their jobs and the industry better,” said Director of Organizing Emily Sabo. “We are incredibly proud of the work the Advanced Grow Labs team has done to form their union. They know that unionization is the way for workers to uplift the Connecticut cannabis industry as a whole, and create living wage jobs.”

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