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Massachusetts Cannabis Workers Ratify First Union Contract

March 30, 2022

On March 21, members of UFCW Local 328 who are employed as cannabis budtenders at Solar Therapeutics in Somerset, Mass., ratified a first union contract that raises wages and improves benefits. These workers joined UFCW Local 328 in October of 2021. 

The three-year contract, which was ratified unanimously, includes the following provisions:

  • Guaranteed wage increases
  • Higher starting rates
  • Improvements in paid sick leave and paid vacations
  • Pathway to full-time employment
  • Robust grievance procedure and workplace protections
  • Improvement in paid breaks
  • Improvement in paid holidays
  • Protected time and a half on Sundays and holidays
  • Clothing allowance
  • Newly established 401(k) plan
  • Improvement in employee discounts

“I am truly proud of my coworkers for working together to get this done as we help shape the future of the cannabis industry,” said Andrea Areias Nooth, a Solar Therapeutics budtender who served on the worker negotiating committee. “The work put in to get to this point was definitely worth it, and I know this momentum will continue with other dispensaries around the country as this industry grows. Never be afraid to stand up for what you deserve.”

“We congratulate the amazing team at Solar Therapeutics on voting to approve their first agreement that secures important gains and strengthens their futures at the company,” said UFCW Local 328 Director of Organizing Sam Marvin. “By standing together, they were able to achieve this victory. Additionally, we recognize Solar Therapeutics for negotiating in good faith, listening to their employees, and reaching an equitable agreement in a short timeframe.”