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April 10, 2024

Dispensary employees in Oxford the latest cannabis workers to unionize after 15-3 vote

Two men, one in sun glasses and the other in a cowboy hat, hold union signs Image | Courtesy of UFCW Local 1445 Curaleaf workers Todd Daigneault (left) and Joe Bolandrina rally outside of the company's Oxford location on Feb. 16.

Employees at the Curaleaf dispensary in Oxford have joined a number of Massachusetts cannabis industry workers who have become members of labor unions since the state legalized adult-use cannabis in 2016.

Curaleaf workers voted 15 to 3 to join UFCW Local 1445, said Steff Coronella, an organizer with the union. UFCW Local 1445 is a Dedham-based, cannabis-focused local of the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union, which represents 1.2 million workers in the United States and Canada. 

Curaleaf’s Oxford workers are the latest in Central Massachusetts to join the UFCW. Workers at the Sira Naturals cultivation and processing facility in Milford became the first Massachusetts cannabis workers to unionize when they joined UFCW in 2019, with workers at the then-Cultivate cultivation facility in Leicester following their lead by joining the union in 2020. That facility would later be bought by Cresco Labs, a multistate cannabis company based in Chicago.

Workers at a Curaleaf medical marijuana dispensary in Hanover joined UFCW in September 2022, and workers at the company’s facilities in states including New Jersey and Rhode Island have unionized.

The vote by Curaleaf’s Oxford workers came after the company declined to voluntarily recognize their unionization efforts in February. Workers at the time cited job security, a pay raise, and better health insurance as the main goals of the unionization movement.

"As a company, Curaleaf respects the rights of team members who have chosen to be represented by a union. Where team members have chosen such representation, the company will pursue an honest, business-like approach in working with those representatives," the company said in a statement sent to WBJ on Wednesday afternoon. "We know our team members, our business and our patients and customers depend on a positive work environment, and we are committed to a collaborative culture that allows our team to feel heard, supported and respected."

A small one-story building with a parking lot in front
Image | Courtesy of Google Maps
Curaleaf's Oxford dispensary

Joe Bolandrina, a Curaleaf worker who is a U.S. Army veteran and has been involved in the cannabis reform movement since the 1980s, celebrated the vote.

“I have been tending buds at Curaleaf Oxford since before the doors were opened for business on April 18, 2018,” Bolandrina wrote in an email to WBJ. “I’m over the top grateful that we voted in favor, in a landslide result. I feel that the company has grown so fast that the ‘head’ forgets the importance of the ‘legs’ that not only keep us upright but move the whole body.” 

By some metrics, Curaleaf is the largest cannabis-focused company in the world. The company’s market cap is $3.8 billion, the highest value of any company included in a chart of publicly traded cannabis companies maintained by, a website tracking the value of businesses in a number of sectors. 

Curaleaf has approximately 5,600 employees, 145 dispensaries, and 1.4 million feet of cannabis cultivation capacity, according to the company’s website. Curaleaf has a presence in 17 states and a number of European countries.

The company has Massachusetts dispensary locations in Oxford, Hanover, Provincetown, and Ware, as well as a cultivation facility in Webster.

EDITOR'S NOTE: This story has been updated from a previous version to include a statement from Curaleaf. 

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