MECHANICSVILLE, Md. (October 13, 2023) – In a significant development, the employees of Story cannabis dispensary in Mechanicsville, Maryland, have voted overwhelmingly in favor of unionizing with the United Food & Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 400 Union. This landmark decision marks a major step in the ongoing unionization wave within the cannabis industry.

The workers’ organizing committee issued a statement expressing their enthusiasm and commitment to the cause:

“We are stoked on the outcome of our election, and it just further illustrates what we already knew: we are a team that works together to benefit our patients, our community, and ourselves as workers. We are excited to continue providing the best medicine and overall experience to our patients and our adult-use customers. We look forward to getting down to business and negotiating a contract.”

This move comes after the workers filed for a union election through the National Labor Relations Board in August, following most eligible employees signing authorization cards supporting unionizing. The voting took place on Thursday, resulting in a resounding 14–2 vote favoring unionizing. The union will encompass 20 employees at the Mechanicsville dispensary at 38105 Three Notch Road.

Story Cannabis, which operates dispensaries across multiple states, including Maryland, Arizona, and Ohio, is witnessing the Mechanicsville location become the first union shop within the company’s national network.

The Story Cannabis staff’s decision to unionize aligns with a broader trend within the cannabis industry. Notably, on August 11, workers at Zen Leaf in Germantown, Maryland, ratified their first union contract with UFCW Local 400. In the Baltimore region, employees at the Zen Leaf dispensary in Towson joined UFCW Local 27 in July, following the unionization of workers at the PharmaCann Verilife Dispensary in Westminster in June. In 2020, workers at MaryMed, LLC in Hurlock, Maryland, set a precedent by becoming the first workplace in the state’s cannabis industry to agree on a union contract. The same year, workers at DC Holistic Wellness became the first dispensary in the nation’s capital to unionize.

These unionization efforts among cannabis dispensary employees reflect a growing recognition of the need for workers’ rights and collective bargaining within the rapidly expanding cannabis industry. As more states embrace cannabis legalization, the industry is evolving, and so are its workforce expectations. The employees at Story Cannabis in Mechanicsville, Maryland, have now become part of this larger movement to secure fair working conditions, benefits, and a stronger voice in the cannabis sector’s development.

David M. Higgins II is an award-winning journalist passionate about uncovering the truth and telling compelling stories. Born in Baltimore and raised in Southern Maryland, he has lived in several East...

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