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More Illinois Cannabis Workers Join Local 881

May 7, 2021

On April 20, Ascend Dispensary cannabis workers in Springfield, Ill., joined UFCW Local 881 for better wages and benefits and a voice in the workplace. Ascend Wellness Holdings, which owns the Springfield dispensary, is one of the largest privately-held U.S. multistate operators in the cannabis industry.

These workers joined our union family because they wanted a voice in the workplace and the ability to negotiate for better wages and benefits. These workers were also concerned about COVID-19 protections.

“I hope that this win can be a positive step forward for everybody,” said Eric Craddock, who is an agent at Ascend Dispensary. “This victory will provide workers with a voice in the workplace and a future in this industry.”

“Illinois cannabis sales topped $1 billion in 2020,” said UFCW Local 881 President Steve Powell. “These companies can afford to respect their workers! Respect and decency are not expensive business practices. This industry should be creating stable careers, not operating cannabis sweatshops. We look forward to beginning negotiations and we are proud to stand with these brave workers from Ascend as they voice their concerns while working on the front lines!”

UFCW Local 881 represents cannabis workers across multiple states and Ascend Springfield is the fourth group of cannabis workers to join the local since 2020. Windy City Cannabis workers recently joined UFCW Local 881 and the workers at Cresco (Joliet) and Sunnyside (Lakeview) recently ratified union contracts negotiated by UFCW Local 881.

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