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Advanced Grow Labs Forms Connecticut’s First Cannabis Union with UFCW Local 919

UFCW Local 919
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WEST HAVEN, CT – Forty-eight workers at Advanced Grow Labs in West Haven, Connecticut came together to form their union with the United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW) Local 919. Workers at Advanced Grow Labs formed their union with a focus on gaining higher wages, improving benefits, and securing important workplace protections. They became the first cannabis workers in the State of Connecticut to form their union and gain a voice in the workplace. 

“We are so inspired by the team at Advanced Grow Labs. They are the very first cannabis workers in the State of Connecticut to form their union,” said UFCW Local 919 President, Mark A. Espinosa. “We are excited to bargain a contract and set the standard for all cannabis workers in this state. We know there is strength in numbers, and now many workers to come will benefit from the hard work done by these workers at Advanced Grow Labs. We encourage other cannabis workers in this state to join this important movement.” 

“The workers at Advanced Grow Labs came together to form their union because they believe in the cannabis industry and they know that forming their union will make their job and the industry better,” said Director of Organizing, Emily Sabo. “We are incredibly proud of the work the Advanced Grow Labs team has done to form their union. They know that unionization is the way for workers to uplift the Connecticut cannabis industry as a whole, and create living wage jobs.” 

Advanced Grow Labs workers were inspired to form their union because of the tens and thousands of other workers across the country who formed their union with the UFCW. Any cannabis worker who is interested in forming a union at their workplace should contact the UFCW Local 919 Director of Organizing, Emily Sabo at 203-915-4561 or



In 2021, Governor Ned Lamont and the State Legislature passed legislation to legalize the adult-use of cannabis in Connecticut. The law requires all cannabis establishment licensees enter into a Labor Peace Agreement (LPA) with a bona fide labor organization as a condition of its final license approval. This law levels the playing field for workers and allows them to form the union in a neutral environment. 

UFCW Local 919 has been leading the push to strengthen Connecticut cannabis jobs and give workers a voice in the workplace as the industry expands across the state. The UFCW represents tens and thousands of cannabis workers across the country in dispensaries, labs, delivery, kitchens, manufacturing, processing, grow facilities, and more. The UFCW is America's largest cannabis workers union and has been representing cannabis workers in states across the country for almost two decades. Its Cannabis Workers Rising campaign helps to advance the development and stabilization of the emerging cannabis industry and supports good jobs in Connecticut and nationwide.

As part of UFCW’s efforts, the union is committed to setting the standards nationally for the cannabis industry through crafting and supporting targeted legislative efforts, leading the way in industry coalitions, and ensuring that cannabis jobs mean living wage jobs, pathways to advancement, and equity, especially for marginalized communities.

UFCW Local 919 is a part of UFCW International, which is the largest private sector union in the United States. UFCW International represents 1.3 million professionals and their families in cannabis, healthcare, grocery stores, meatpacking, food processing, retail shops and other industries. Our members serve our communities in all 50 states, Canada and Puerto Rico. Learn more about the UFCW Cannabis Workers Rising Campaign at