Workers at Homestate Dispensary in Kansas City’s Crossroads voted 6-1 Monday to unionize with Teamsters Local 955. This is only the second unionized dispensary in Missouri and the first in the Kansas City metro area.
The group began organizing in the spring and is fighting for higher wages, more time off, parental leave and better healthcare benefits, full-time security, control over their tips, bigger discounts for budtenders and better staffing rotations.
Madison Ford came to Homestate from a corporate background, where she says she had a good work environment that included competitive pay and healthcare. Working in the cannabis industry is her new dream, but Ford says a lack of worker protections has created a chaotic environment that’s forcing some people out.
She says workers often have their shifts switched with little notice, managers show favoritism and pit workers against each other and fire people without good reason.
Missouri is bordered by states, except Illinois, where marijuana is either completely or partially illegal, and she says the extreme influx of recreational business from Missourians and people coming in from out of state has put a strain on workers. The win makes her hopeful that she and her coworkers can make the industry better