Last week, workers at Cresco Labs, one of Illinois’ largest cannabis companies, voted to join the Local 881 chapter of the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW). The vote, conducted by the National Labor Relations Board just two weeks after adult recreational-use sales began in the state, is the first by Illinois cannabis workers.
Cresco currently employs around 130 employees, but the vote will affect only about 100 of those workers. Because Cresco’s cultivation employees are already covered under federal labor laws for agricultural workers, only non-cultivation personnel are eligible to join the bargaining unit, such as those handling packaging, transportation, extraction and infusion, and front-end staff.
Cresco Labs has also drawn the attention of major politicians in Illinois and across the country. Democratic presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders, for example, mentioned the Cresco Labs workers in a tweet last week, encouraging Cresco employees to vote for unionization and vowing to help double union membership across the country should he get elected as president.