When Ben Telford showed up for work June 23 at the Greenleaf Compassionate Care Center in Portsmouth, R.I., he was shocked to learn that his employment was terminated.
In April, Greenleaf Portsmouth employees became the first cannabis dispensary workers in the state to unionize after a 21-1 vote to join the United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW) Local 328. The organized Greenleaf team includes budtenders, keyholders, online team members and delivery associates.
Employed by Greenleaf since May 2020, Telford was a keyholder at the Portsmouth medical cannabis retail facility in Portsmouth, where his responsibilities included opening and closing the store, cash management and day-to-day operations, as well as performing other duties in the absence of management. He was also a member of Greenleaf’s union bargaining committee, a role he retains.
Courtesy of UFCW Local 328
Ben Telford, second from right, had his employment as a keyholder at the Greenleaf Compassionate Care Center in Portsmouth, R.I., terminated on June 23.
“I was definitely shocked,” Telford said of his termination. “I’m a hard worker, both on the job, at the site, and then off the job as far as the effort to unionize and get our team together and get a contract negotiated.”