More Sunnyside Workers Join 881’s Growing Cannabis Union!

The Champaign Dispensary is the third Cresco location to join Local 881, the Union for Illinois Cannabis Workers

Dispensary Workers from Sunnyside Champaign
For Immediate Release

Champaign, IL – Today workers at Sunnyside cannabis dispensary in Champaign won their Union representation election and will join Local 881 of the United Food and Commercial Workers, the Union for Cannabis Workers in Illinois.

Sunnyside is owned and operated by the large and profitable national cannabis company, Cresco. This is the third group of Cresco workers to join Local 881’s rapidly-growing cannabis Union.  Local 881 is proud to be the first and only Union to negotiate Cannabis contracts in Illinois with Cresco Labs in Joliet and the Sunnyside Dispensary in Chicago (Lakeview). In both of these contracts, Local 881 was successful in negotiating wage increases, more paid leave, increased employee product discount, a robust grievance procedure, and stronger protection language for the workers.

“We are so excited to move forward! Personally, I’m so proud of all my coworkers for standing together to tell the company that WE KNOW OUR VALUE!” said Ramy Akram-Ahmed, a Sunnyside Champaign Wellness Advisor. “This is not only a huge day for us but also the cannabis industry!”

An overwhelming majority of the 25 workers at the dispensary voted to join the Union. The Sunnyside Champaign workers voted yes to join Local 881 UFCW hoping to dramatically improve their working conditions. The workers have cited issues at the dispensary such as low wages, inadequate benefits, unpredictable scheduling of hours, and no proper training. The results of the election will be certified by the National Labor Relations Board in seven days barring objections from the employer.

“Illinois welcomed the cannabis industry with open arms and the larger companies are clearly reaping all the benefits. Recreational cannabis legislation promised these companies would provide good jobs and benefit local communities” said Steve Powell, Local 881 UFCW President. “We strongly believe that these big cannabis companies have the ability to do so much better for their workers. Local 881 has been proud to help create better careers for cannabis workers, and we look forward to negotiating the security that only a Union contract can provide for the Sunnyside Champaign workers.” 

“I’m so proud of what we achieved!” remarked Sarah Holder, a Sunnyside Champaign Wellness Advisor. “We were able to come together to demand better working conditions, and I hope this encourages other dispensaries across Illinois to do the same!

Cannabis workers across the state are joining with Local 881 to make meaningful change to the Cannabis industry in Illinois. Just recently two other Illinois dispensaries, Windy City Cannabis on Weed Street and Ascend in Downtown Springfield, also voted to join Local 881. Local 881 is committed to ensuring that the Cannabis industry lives up to the promises it made to the communities when it lobbied for their support for legalization. For more information about the fight to improve the Cannabis industry in Illinois, visit: