Workers at Vireo Health of New York (“Vireo”) have ratified their first union contract at the Company’s medicalmarijuana cultivation and manufacturing facility and its dispensaries. The agreement was negotiated byLocal 338 of the Retail, Wholesale, and Department Store Union, UFCW, which represents all of Vireo’s employees. This ratified union contract is the first in the history of New York State’s new medical cannabis industry.
The agreement covers current and future employees at Vireo’s cultivation and manufacturing facility in Fulton County’s Tryon Technology Park, and at all four of its dispensaries located in Albany, Johnson City (Binghamton), Queens and White Plains. The contract provides a living wage with guaranteed raises, paid time off, healthcare coverage and retirement benefits.
Local 338 RWDSU/UFCW also represents approximately 16,000 workers based in New York who are employed in retail drug stores and pharmacies, food and grocery retail stores, assisted living facilities and non-profit agencies that serve the developmentally disabled. Local 338 actively partnered with patients, advocates, and elected officials to help pass the Compassionate Care Act in 2014.
“This innovative agreement, based on profitability milestones, aligns business and labor interests by ensuring that our employees benefit as our Company becomes more successful. Our commitment to providing employees with fair wages and great benefits will not only help us recruit and retain the necessary talent to provide patients with high-quality products and compassionate care, but also build a profitable business,” said Ari Hoffnung, CEO of Vireo Health of New York. “Along with the rare opportunity to build an entirely new industry, comes a unique responsibility. It is incumbent upon us to lay an economic foundation that will provide employees with the wages and benefits their families deserve and invest in ways that help local economies across New York State prosper.”
“As someone starting a new family, it’s great to have the security and stability of a union contract,” said Matt Denten, a Local 338 RWDSU/UFCW member and cultivator employed at Vireo Health New York. “I’m proud to be working in the medical cannabis industry and know that my work is helping patients live meaningful lives. My coworkers and I all agreed that we wanted to be represented by Local 338 to make sure that we were protected as workers and had good benefits and wages.”