Chicago-area dispensary workers go on strike ahead of 4/20

Teamsters at three marijuana shops in suburban Chicago have walked off the job on the eve of 4/20 — an informal holiday for cannabis consumers.

Workers at three "Rise Dispensary" locations, two in Joliet and one in Niles, voted to unionize last year and have been negotiating their first contract.

A Local 777 union spokesman says Wednesday’s strike is to protest unfair labor practices. The union claims management told workers to remove Teamsters buttons during bargaining.


The dispensary's parent company, Green Thumb Industries, issued a statement reading in part:

"Green Thumb respects the rights of our employees, including the fundamental right to organize and take protected, concerted activity during negotiations. We made a fair offer to the union and will continue to work toward labor peace."

Workers are also demanding better wages and retirement security.