In what’s believed to be a first in Canada, employees at a Toronto marijuana dispensary have started the process of forming a union, despite the fact that the business is illegal.
Forty workers at the Canna Clinic on Broadview Avenue are expected to have their bargaining unit certified by the end of the week, the Ontario Labour Board tells VICE News.
The staff’s move to unionize could inspire similar efforts amongst the dozens of other pot dispensaries across Ontario, something that one worker at Canna Clinic hopes will add legitimacy to the businesses as the province decides whether to allow the shops to exist once cannabis is legalized for recreational use.
“Once next year rolls around with legalization, no one really knows what’s going to happen with workers like us. So with the union, we feel like we actually have structure,” said one “budtender” at the Broadview shop who spoke on the condition of anonymity.
Photo by Anthony Tuccitto / VICE News
Canna Clinic workers approached Unifor, Canada’s biggest private-sector union, as they were organizing their union a couple months ago.