Zen Leaf Dispensary in Germantown is the Latest Cannabis Workplace in Maryland to Unionize

Per UFCW Local 400: Today, workers at Zen Leaf cannabis dispensary in Germantown, Md. announced they have officially unionized with United Food & Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 400.

“The biggest driving factor for us was that management always said the cannabis industry is a new and better world and we’re building it from the ground up, but we didn’t see any of that improvement happening for the workers,” said Ginko Spinel, a patient care advisor who has worked at Zen Leaf for a year and a half. “Now that we have a union, we have a voice on the job and we can contribute to making that vision a reality. I couldn’t be more excited for us to negotiate our first union contract.”

“We are delighted to welcome the Zen Leaf staff to our union family,” said UFCW Local 400 President Mark P. Federici. “As the cannabis industry continues to blossom, it is imperative that job standards reflect the booming growth of the profession. By joining together as a union, these workers have taken a big step toward securing a thriving future for themselves and their employer. We look forward to negotiating a standard-setting contract with better wages, protection from unfair treatment, and comprehensive benefits.”

A majority of Zen Leaf employees signed union authorization cards and filed for a union election in June and the vote was conducted by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). Mail-in paper ballots were distributed to workers on July 28th and votes were tallied by NLRB officials on August 18. The unionized workforce covers approximately 10 employees working at the Germantown store located at 13007 Wisteria Dr Unit 28-29, Germantown, MD 20874.

The staff at Zen Leaf have joined the ranks of other cannabis industry workers in the region who have unionized. In 2020, workers at MaryMed, LLC in Hurlock, Md., became the first workplace in the state’s cannabis industry to reach an agreement on a union contract. That same year, workers at DC Holistic Wellness, the first 100 percent solely Black-owned cannabis dispensary in the District of Columbia, signed their first collective bargaining agreement and became the first dispensary in the nation’s capital to unionize.

Today’s announcement coincides with a wave of union organizing occurring across the country, notably at major corporations such as Starbucks and Amazon. Locally, grocery retail workers at Union Kitchen as well as baristas and booksellers at Politics and Prose recently unionized with UFCW Local 400. Both workplaces are now in the process of negotiating their first contracts.

According to the NLRB, union elections filings in the first half of fiscal year 2022 are up 57% from the year before and approval of labor unions is at its highest point since 1965, according to a recent Gallup poll.

Zen Leaf is a subsidiary of Verano and operates stores in Arizona, Arkansas, Connecticut, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia.

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17th Annual Kensington Day of the Book Festival

Now in its 17th year, the Kensington Day of the Book Festival is a family-friendly street festival featuring 150+ renowned authors, poets, and literary organizations. Enjoy live music on five stages, special guest speakers, military veteran writers and comedians, poetry readings, cookbook demos, children's program, and much more.

Admission is free, and attendees will also be able to explore a marketplace of books and food offerings from local vendors.

Not your average book festival! This festival offers something for everyone!

17th Annual Kensington Day of the Book Festival

Sunday, April 21, 2024, 11am-4pm (held rain or shine!)

Howard Avenue, Kensington, MD 20895

www.dayofthebook.com

Instagram: @kensingtonbookfestival

Contact: Elisenda Sola-Sole, Festival Director

[email protected]

301-949-9416 (text preferred)

FEST OF SPRING Caribbean Wine Food & Music Festival

Get ready to experience the vibrant colors, tantalizing flavors, and infectious rhythms of the Caribbean at the FEST OF SPRING Caribbean Wine Food & Music Festival! Hosted by RHU LLC, this exciting festival is set to take place on May 18, 2024, at the picturesque 16700 Barnesville Rd in Boyds, MD.

Step into a world where the Caribbean spirit comes alive! From 12:00 PM onwards, immerse yourself in a sensory journey that celebrates the unique culture, cuisine, and music of the Caribbean. Whether you're an African American, a Reggae or Soca music enthusiast, a wine lover, or part of the vibrant Caribbean diaspora, this festival promises to delight and captivate you in every way.

Let the enticing aromas of mouthwatering Caribbean dishes tantalize your taste buds. Feast on traditional delicacies prepared by expert chefs, showcasing the rich and diverse culinary heritage of the Caribbean. Indulge in flavorful jerk chicken, succulent seafood, and delectable plantain dishes that will transport you straight to the islands.

Accompanying the culinary extravaganza is a carefully curated selection of premium wines, ensuring the perfect pairing for your palate. Sip on fine wines from renowned vineyards, each sip a reflection of the Caribbean's vibrant spirit. Discover new flavors, expand your wine knowledge, and savor unforgettable moments with every glass.

As the sun sets, get ready to groove to the infectious rhythms of Caribbean music. Feel the pulsating beats of reggae, soca, dancehall, and calypso, moving your body to the lively melodies. Live performances by talented musicians and performers will keep the energy high, ensuring a night of unforgettable entertainment.

Don't miss this opportunity to embrace the Caribbean spirit and celebrate the arrival of spring in style! Tickets are available on AllEvents, so secure your spot today. Join us at the FEST OF SPRING Caribbean Wine Food & Music Festival, where cultures collide and unforgettable memories are made.

LIVE PERFORMANCES By: CULTURE Feat. Kenyatta Hill, EXCO LEVI, IMAGE BAND, RAS LIDJ REGG'GO with Special Guest SUGAR BEAR FROM E.U. & MORE! & MORE!

MUSIC By: DJ ABLAZE, DJ SMALLY & NAJ SUPREME

2 NIGHT Camping packages available: RV/CAMPER $200 | TENTS $150 Starting on Friday May 17 @ 5pm | 30 RV SPACES | 30+ TENT SPACES

KIDS 12 & UNDER FREE!!!

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