Union sees growth potential in state’s medical cannabis industry

ufcw1189merge2smallWorkers at Minnesota Medical Solutions, one of two firms authorized by state regulators to manufacture and dispense medical cannabis, announced today they have unionized and ratified their first contract, all in the last week.

The state’s Bureau of Mediation Services on Tuesday authorized Local 1189 of the United Food and Commercial Workers – a St. Paul- and Duluth-based union representing workers in retail, health care and manufacturing – as the representative of Minnesota Medical Solutions’ eligible full- and part-time workers.

The union announced workers’ vote to ratify their new contract in a press release today.

The Minnesota Department of Health will begin enrolling patients with qualified medical conditions – outlined in legislation passed last year – into the medical cannabis registry program this spring. Registered patients may be able to purchase medical cannabis at eight distribution facilities across the state as early as July.

Bernie Hesse, Local 1189’s director of special projects, sees potential for growth for the medical cannabis industry in Minnesota. The UFCW, which represents thousands of medical cannabis workers in seven states and the District of Columbia, projects the industry will create one job for every 10 patients.

The Minnesota Medical Solutions bargaining unit “is a handful of workers to start,” Hesse said. “But it will grow.”

Meanwhile, Hesse said, Local 1189’s efforts to organize workers at the other licensed cannabis producer, Cottage Grove-based LeafLine Labs, continue.


  1. […] isn’t going to be stopped by RTW or any other attempts to suppress workers’ rights. We have organized the first group of medical cannabis workers in Minnesota, and we are ready to organize the second facility when the opportunity arises. We believe the […]

%d bloggers like this: