Workers at March and Ash Approve New Contract

San Diego, CA – Workers at union cannabis operator March and Ash have voted to overwhelmingly approve a new three-year contract, signifying labor peace in San Diego’s unionized cannabis industry.

UFCW Local 135 represents over 300 workers at nine March and Ash dispensaries, eight in San Diego County and one in Imperial County, making March and Ash San Diego County’s biggest cannabis operator and largest union cannabis company.

Negotiations between UFCW Local 135’s bargaining committee, comprising rank and file members of March and Ash, and the company began on April 9. After weeks of discussions, a tentative agreement was struck on May 8, leading to the contract vote on Wednesday, May 15.

“I am incredibly proud of the dedication demonstrated by our bargaining committee members throughout the negotiation process,” states UFCW Local 135 Secretary-Treasurer Grant Tom. “This was their first time at the bargaining table, and they excelled in representing the interests of their fellow workers. Their participation was instrumental in securing the gains outlined in this contract.”

“It’s encouraging to see fellow employees having each other’s back and getting together with our cannabis union to stay solidified towards our common goal of making a living wage and having job security,” says March and Ash concierge and bargaining committee member Dina Calvarese.

The new contract features several key improvements, including raises for all and significant wage increases for many, a simplified wage scale with annual raises, an unreducible wage reopener with consideration for a language differential, a 5-minute lunchtime grace period, and enhanced paid sick leave benefits that includes 48 hours of paid sick leave (up from 40), with up to 96 bankable hours. Additionally, statewide accretion language has been included, encompassing UFCW Locals 5, 8, 135, 324, 770, 1167, 1428, and 1442, making this contract cover the entirety of California.

This contract marks the second agreement between UFCW Local 135 and March and Ash. The initial contract, which began on May 17, 2021, will conclude on May 17, 2024. The newly ratified contract will begin May 17, 2024, and end on May 17, 2027.

In addition to the workers represented by UFCW Local 135, UFCW Local 5 represents cannabis manufacturing and distribution workers at March and Ash’s sister company CannaCraft in Sonoma County.

In total, UFCW Local 135 represents close to 400 workers in the industry, including at other cannabis retailers Eaze, Stiiizy, and MedMen. Negotiations are currently ongoing at Harbor Collective and Torrey Holistics for their first-ever union contracts.

See also: UCFW Ratifies Agreement with Eaze


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