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As we mentioned in the first of this 13-part series, the Green Thumb team is very conscious that our business is built on a plant that has had a devastating impact on Black and Brown communities as a result of its criminalization.

In an effort to take affirmative steps toward diversifying the cannabis industry landscape, Green Thumb launched its first incubation program in 2019. Through the pro bono License Education Assistance Program (LEAP), the team provided best practices and lessons learned to Illinois social equity applicants. Numerous LEAP craft grower, infuser, transporter, and dispensary participants are now celebrating their successful entry into cannabis business ownership as the state of Illinois has begun the process of issuing licenses after a prolonged delay. On August 1, 2021, LEAP’s Business Accelerator application will launch and at least one Illinois craft grower and one dispensary license-holder will be selected to receive six months of mentorship and loan funds to become operational.

In 2020, Green Thumb formally launched Growing for Good, the company’s social impact program. Growing for Good is committed to incorporating diversity and inclusion, restorative justice, and social equity within the company’s standard operating procedures.

On July 21, 2021, Green Thumb announced Good Green, a line of cannabis products dedicated to creating professional opportunities for marginalized communities impacted by the War on Drugs.
Good Green is Green Thumb’s largest-scaled social impact initiative yet. It is a first-of-its-kind product line that is 100 percent dedicated to promoting change.

In the coming months, Green Thumb will begin the process of allocating Good Green profits to fund grants that support nonprofit organizations focused on the brand’s three key pillars:

  • Education
  • Employment
  • Expungement

A cannabis record creates significant barriers to opportunities many of us take for granted. Expungement and record-sealing reduce the impact of a cannabis record and improve access to education and employment—each of which leads to fruitful careers and a high quality of life. That is why Good Green profits will be awarded to nonprofits that provide expungement-related legal services, cannabis career training, education, and sustainable employment opportunities for communities harmed by discriminatory cannabis policies.

Registered 501(c)(3)s working within the three pillars above can now apply at www.good.green to determine if they are eligible to receive funds from Good Green grants. Green Thumb will allocate at least $1,300,000 in social equity grants through Good Green in the next 18 months.

The goal of Good Green, in addition to fundraising for these important causes, is to set an important precedent for other legal operators to go above and beyond supporting marginalized communities impacted by the War on Drugs.

Haven’t been following along in this Growing for Good expungement series? Catch up on our discussions surrounding the War on Drugs with Cabrini Green Legal Aid, New Leaf Illinois, North Lawndale Employment Network, and more at www.chicagoreader.com/growingforgood. Learn more about LEAP at gtigrows.com/LEAP.

This is a sponsored content series, paid for by Green Thumb Industries. Submit YOUR questions on expungement and record-sealing in Illinois to socialequity@gtigrows.com.



Click here to view all articles in the GTI expungement series.

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