Recreational marijuana retail workers in Battle Creek authorized union representation.

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A sign of the times or progress? Either way you look at it, things are changing. 20 years ago it would have been unthinkable that we'd see recreational marijuana sales legalized but would you ever have thought that those in the industry would unionize?

The United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 951 announced on April 18, 2022, that workers at Heritage Provisioning became the first such group to authorize union representation in West Michigan. Heritage Provisioning is a retail cannabis facility located in Battle Creek.

According to a release from UFCW Local 951, the workers see having union representation as a positive step for ensuring longevity in a field known for high turnover. Every single employee that works at the Battle Creek facility signed up to join the union.

I’m really excited to be a part of something bigger than just myself, a worker at Heritage Provisioning. My dad is a union member and I’m proud to not only become one also, but to make history as the first UFCW 951 organized cannabis facility. Riley Boles, Heritage Provisioning worker.

Heritage Provisioning is owned and operated by William McKenzie, CEO, and co-founder of Left Coast Holdings, a company quickly expanding with multiple dispensaries throughout Michigan.

UFCW 951 describes itself as a progressive labor union representing over 28,000 workers across Michigan in a variety of industries including cannabis, grocery, retail, food processing, and pharmacy. Those union workers are employed by Meijer, Kroger, Rite Aid, JBS, JLL, Knouse Foods, Polly’s, and Harding’s.

Will this become a continuing trend? Only time will tell.

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