Workers at seven medical marijuana dispensaries in Fort Collins have voted to unionize and be represented by the United Food and Commercial Workers, the UFCW announced last month.
While the union has declined to provide the exact vote count, a majority of approximately 200 workers at the dispensaries voted in favor of UFCW Local 7. UFCW spokesman Mark Belkin said the successful vote in Fort Collins marks the beginning of a statewide campaign to unionize workers throughout the Colorado medical marijuana industry, which employs more than 8000 workers. The Medical Marijuana Industry Group, an employers’ organization which represents 75 dispensaries in Colorado, did not take a position on the workers’ representation vote, but the group’s executive director, Mike Elliott, said his members were “happy that UFCW is dedicated to working with and promoting responsible medical marijuana laws and the jobs they create.”
However, the UFCW’s victory in Fort Collins may be short-lived, as a measure to ban medical marijuana businesses in the city appears to have passed by a margin of less than 2000 votes in last week’s election. The election results are expected to be certified by Nov. 18. The measure would require medical marijuana businesses to leave the city within 90 days. There is no word yet on how this ban would affect the collective bargaining efforts of the workers.