A unionized medical cannabis dispensary worker in Portsmouth, R.I., was offered reinstatement with full back pay Dec. 29, more than six months after his employment was terminated at the Greenleaf Compassionate Care Center.

Ben Telford, a keyholder at the retail facility, was fired June 23, roughly two months after employees at Greenleaf Portsmouth became the first cannabis dispensary workers in the state to unionize in a 21-1 vote to join the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local Union 328, which represents roughly 11,000 Rhode Island and Massachusetts workers across various industries.

Employed by the dispensary for more than a year, Telford told Cannabis Business Times that he had been a leading unionization advocate for himself and others as a member of Greenleaf’s union bargaining committee, a role he retained following his termination.

“I’ve been a very loud voice for myself and for others on the team that worked there,” Telford said in June. “But the reason I was given the day I was terminated … was that my services were no longer required. And when I asked for further explanation, I was told that there was none needed to be given at the time, so I gathered my belongings

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