Report details meaningful contributions towards restorative justice initiatives, community business incubators and educational and workforce development programming
CHICAGO, December 29, 2020–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Cresco Labs (CSE:CL) (OTCQX:CRLBF) (“Cresco” or “the Company”), one of the largest vertically integrated, multistate cannabis operators in the United States, is proud to publish the first annual report for its SEED (Social Equity and Educational Development) initiative. The report highlights the Company’s many achievements over the past year to help create a more diverse and inclusive cannabis industry through SEED’s restorative justice initiatives, community business incubators and educational and workforce development programming. The 2019-2020 SEED Annual Report is available online at crescolabs.com/seed.
We are proud to have launched the cannabis industry’s first comprehensive social justice and social equity initiative and to report the significant strides the SEED program has made towards the more equitable inclusion of Black and Brown people in cannabis. As we reflect on SEED’s first year successes, we recognize that this is just the beginning of a long road ahead and a tremendous amount of work is still to be done.
Charlie Bachtell, CEO and Co-founder of Cresco Labs
Our goal is to provide the time, know-how and resources to elevate more voices and foster economic opportunities for people from communities disproportionately impacted by prior drug laws. The ability of this industry to reach its maximum potential will be governed by its ability to address the social responsibility components tied to this subject matter.
“Our SEED team is made up of incredibly talented, hard-working individuals who are building a culture where all Cresco Labs employees are inspired to improve inclusiveness within the cannabis industry. Our SEED initiative supports our vision to be the most important company in cannabis and is helping to build the most responsible and respectable industry possible. Together, we are firmly committed to continuing the progress we’ve achieved this inaugural year into the future,” continued Bachtell.
The SEED Annual Report outlines the mission of SEED, describes its goals and initiatives, and details the efforts dedicated to the program’s success. Highlights of the 2019/2020 program include:
- Invested over $1.5M and contributed over 2,200 Cresco Labs staff hours for more than 40 multi-tiered SEED initiatives
- Sponsored and financially supported 22 restorative-focused events and more than 1,200 individuals seeking expungement of their records
- Conducted SEED’s inaugural Community Business Incubator that assisted 50 businesses and over 250 individuals in total over two application periods in Illinois
- Established 8 community and workforce development initiatives and assisted in the development of cannabis industry curriculum with 5 universities and colleges
Cresco Labs’ SEED team was the recipient of the 2020 Bill Leslie Visionary Award from Cabrini Green Legal Aid, a nonprofit established in 1973 to serve legal needs arising from the lack of opportunity, criminalization of poverty, and racial inequity experienced within the Cabrini Green community in Chicago, Illinois. This recognition reinforces the SEED initiative’s effort to build community relationships and do its part to be restorative and inclusive.
In May 2019, Cresco Labs created SEED to address the absence of people, businesses and communities disproportionately impacted by the War on Drugs in the cannabis industry. Its mission is to develop tangible pathways into the cannabis industry for communities impacted by the War on Drugs through the three pillars of SEED: Restorative Justice, Community Business Incubator, and Education & Workforce Development. SEED’s restorative justice programming includes expungement events, lobbying to change the nation’s drug laws, and working to ensure that no person remains in prison for a cannabis conviction. Established in November 2019, Cresco’s Community Business Incubator provides qualifying social equity applicants with the resources, knowledge and guidance needed to successfully apply for adult use dispensary licenses awarded by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation. SEED develops educational cannabis programming tailored to communities disproportionately impacted by the War on Drugs, as well as builds collaborative relationships with colleges and universities to develop curriculum, teach classes and host workshops to educate and prepare students for careers in cannabis.
To learn more about Cresco Labs’ SEED initiative, visit crescolabs.com/seed.
About Cresco Labs
Cresco Labs is one of the largest vertically integrated, multistate cannabis operators in the United States. Cresco is built to become the most important company in the cannabis industry by combining the most strategic geographic footprint with one of the leading distribution platforms in North America. Employing a consumer-packaged goods (“CPG”) approach to cannabis, Cresco’s house of brands is designed to meet the needs of all consumer segments and includes some of the most recognized and trusted national brands including Cresco, Remedi, High Supply, Cresco Reserve, Good News, Wonder Wellness Co., FloraCal and Mindy’s Chef Led Artisanal Edibles created by James Beard Award-winning chef Mindy Segal. Sunnyside, Cresco’s national dispensary brand, is a wellness-focused retailer designed to build trust, education and convenience for both existing and new cannabis consumers. Recognizing that the cannabis industry is poised to become one of the leading job creators in the country, Cresco provides the industry’s first national comprehensive Social Equity and Educational Development (SEED) program designed to ensure that all members of society have the skills, knowledge and opportunity to work in and own businesses in the cannabis industry. Learn more about Cresco Labs at www.crescolabs.com.