Cresco Labs Launches Social Justice Campaign
On the 50th anniversary of when America started its longest war — the War on Drugs — Cresco Labs, a vertically integrated multistate operator and wholesaler of branded cannabis products, has launched a summer-long social justice campaign supported by its Sunnyside retail brand and flagship cannabis brand, Cresco. Through community expungement events, employee volunteerism, a film documenting the impact of unjust prosecution, and financial contributions from the company and its third-party vendors, the “Summer of Social Justice” campaign aims to influence reform to help shape a future cannabis industry with limitless opportunities for everyone. T
he campaign will amplify the ongoing restorative justice, community business incubator and education and workforce development programming facilitated by the company’s established SEED (Social Equity & Education Development) initiative.
“On this 50th anniversary of the War on Drugs, our country must take action to dismantle a system of over-policing and mass incarceration for cannabis offenses and continue cannabis reform efforts,” said Charlie Bachtell, CEO and co-founder, Cresco Labs. “An incredible future for cannabis is in our hands. The past few years have displayed an unprecedented level of public and political support for positive change in this area, yet tens of thousands of people are arrested on an annual basis—and the vast majority of those arrested have been, and continue to be from, BIPOC communities. Social equity and social justice must be fundamental components of this industry.
“Through the adoption of social equity-focused cannabis legislation, comprehensive justice system reform and industry leaders recognizing opportunities come with the responsibility of stewardship, this industry can reach its full potential. With our ‘Summer of Social Justice’ campaign, we today affirm our commitment to using our platform and influence to build a future cannabis industry that is both inclusive and equitable as it continues to be the fastest growing industry in the country.”
Now through September, the “Summer of Social Justice” campaign includes the following programs:
Nationwide Expungement Events: Cresco Labs is partnering with community-based organizations to support expungement events through employee volunteerism and financial contributions in California, Arizona, New York, Michigan, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Florida and Ohio. The Cresco cannabis brand is driving awareness of these events through marketing communications. Visit crescocannabis.com/expungement-events for an expungement event schedule.
“The Sentence of Michael Thompson” Documentary: On Juneteenth, a trailer will debut for a new documentary short film about the story of Michigan’s longest-serving non-violent offender. Granted clemency this past January, Thompson was serving a 60-year sentence in Muskegon Correctional Facility in Michigan for selling 3 pounds of cannabis to a police informant in 1994. The documentary will be released this fall. The trailer is launching with a microsite sharing ways companies and people can help release the 40,000 people currently in prison for cannabis convictions. To learn more, visit crescocannabis.com/michaelthompson.
Fundraising & Petition Drives: A portion of proceeds from the wholesale of Cresco branded products throughout the summer will go towards the Cannabis Justice Initiative, a component of the Return to Freedom Project of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL). The NADCL was created to facilitate clemency, compassionate release, expungement and reform for those impacted by the drug war. In addition, Cresco Labs is encouraging its third-party vendor partners to support this campaign through financial contributions that will go towards expungement. Sunnyside will have in store donations and a petition drive in partnership with Last Prisoner Project at stores across the country.