Former Ann Arbor dispensary employees sue, claiming wrongful termination

Lisa Conine pickets with others outside Om of Medicine in downtown Ann Arbor on Oct. 16, 2020.
Lisa Conine pickets with others outside Om of Medicine in downtown Ann Arbor on Oct. 16, 2020. (Meredith Bruckner)

ANN ARBORStory update: The National Labor Relations Board dismissed all three lawsuits mentioned below in early December, 2020.

The effort of Om of Medicine employees to unionize with the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union failed after it didn’t garner enough votes and the union withdrew its petition, according to Om of Medicine management.

Three former employees at Om of Medicine have filed wrongful termination claims as their colleagues still working at the dispensary attempt to unionize.

Lisa Conine, Brianna Worthing and Ana Gomulka said they were fired on Sept. 23 after bringing concerns to their managers about racial equity and new profit-driven policies.

Om of Medicine was acquired two years ago by multistate cannabis operator 4Front Ventures. Conine, Om’s community outreach coordinator, said that staff were initially told that 4Front would preserve Om’s mission in serving the community, but at some point things began to change.

“As time went on, a lot of changes were made within the corporate leadership, and the values were changed to only being operations-focused on revenue and profits increasing and less value being placed on the type of work we did within the community unless it immediately showed profit,” said Conine.

“That was very challenging for a lot of us who were very passionate about this work and this movement.”

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