Pinnacle Emporium Workers in Buchanan Vote to Unionize with UFCW 951

April 22, 2024

GRAND RAPIDS, MI — The United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 951 announced today workers at Pinnacle Emporium, a Buchanan, MI retail cannabis facility owned by TerrAscend, voted in favor of UFCW 951 representation on April 19, 2024.

“The workers at Pinnacle Emporium made their voices heard with this vote, and we are extremely happy to have them as members of UFCW 951,” John Cakmakci, UFCW 951 president, said. “We look forward to bargaining a contract that will give them the guarantees and protections in the workplace they deserve, along with competitive wages and quality healthcare.”

Workers at the dispensary see UFCW 951 union representation as a step in the right direction when it comes to a lasting career in an industry known for high employee turnover. Ninety-two percent of the workers at the facility signed up to join the union and a committee will soon start to bargain their first contract.

“As committed members of Pinnacle Emporium, we are eager to turn our roles into meaningful careers,” Milla Weidner, a budtender at Pinnacle Emporium, said. “Yet our current wages and benefits don’t match our dedication. Unionizing is our path to advocating for fair compensation that reflects our commitment and aspirations.”

TerrAscend is a leading TSX-listed cannabis company with interests across the North American cannabis sector, including vertically integrated operations in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, Michigan, and California and retail operations in Canada.

“We are standing up for our right to bargain for wages, benefits, and fair scheduling,” Patrick Bennett, a budtender at Pinnacle Emporium, said. “We have specialized knowledge and skills specific to the cannabis industry and I believe all corporate dispensaries are going to begin unionizing because the cannabis industry and the culture of cannabis have no place in marginalizing people for profits.”

The employees from Pinnacle Emporium are among the tens of thousands of cannabis workers who have joined UFCW locals throughout the U.S. and Canada, thanks to the UFCW International’s Cannabis Workers Rising campaign. Contract negotiations for the Pinnacle Emporium workers are scheduled to begin shortly.

UFCW 951 is a progressive labor union representing over 28,000 workers across Michigan in a variety of industries including grocery, retail, food processing, pharmacy, and cannabis, who are employed at a variety of companies including Meijer, Kroger, Rite Aid, JBS, JLL, Sunberry Beverages, Polly’s, Harding’s, BE Provisions, and Grandville Roasting & Packaging Plant. The UFCW is the largest private sector union in the United States representing over 1.3 million UFCW members nationwide and UFCW 951 is the largest private sector union in Michigan.