A group of employees at a cannabis company in Greater Victoria have become the first private sector dispensary workers to unionize in Canada.
Staff members at two Clarity Cannabis storefronts, the first one Gorge Road and the other on Johnson Street, have joined the United Food and Commercial Workers’ 1518 Local, the union announced Tuesday.
Clarity Cannabis operates five other stores in B.C., including a third location in Greater Victoria, as well as in Cranbrook, Dawson Creek, Kamloops and Prince Rupert. The company employs roughly 40 workers across all of its locations.
Also known as budtenders, the staff work in the storefront and assist customers by explaining the various strains and effects of cannabis.
According to the union, the budtenders decided to unionize to address fair wages, workplace policy, safety and security concerns and education and training opportunities.
“The cannabis industry is an emerging sector and it’s important to build worker power so that budtenders, as well as other cannabis workers, have a strong voice,” union president Kim Novak said in a statement. “That is our union’s commitment.”
Black Press Media has reached out to Clarity Cannabis for comment.