Cresco Labs unveiled of its new Illinois Cannabis Education Center (“ICEC”) today, December 16 at 10 AM.
Through Cresco Labs’ Social Equity and Educational Development (“SEED”) initiative, the ICEC offers the first fully functioning, compliant, mock dispensary and training facility created by a cannabis company for the purpose of providing education and real-world experience to students, entrepreneurs, and a prospective workforce adversely impacted by the War on Drugs.
The ICEC will expand the ongoing work facilitated by the Company’s SEED (Social Equity & Educational Development) initiative.
In addition, the ICEC will serve as a place for restorative justice-focused community organizations to host expungement events, and serve as a center for employment opportunities at Cresco Labs and other cannabis companies. The ICEC is expected to open early next year.
“Despite delays in federal legalization, we embrace our responsibility to help make this industry more inclusive and to provide tangible pathways to business opportunity and employment for people from communities disproportionality impacted by the War on Drugs,” said Charlie Bachtell, Cresco Labs’ CEO & Co-founder. “The mission and goals for the Illinois Cannabis Education Center align with Cresco Labs’ values of social equity, social justice and inclusivity, which are critical for the development of a responsible industry, which creates respectable industry and will make cannabis the most robust industry possible.”
The ICEC plans to empower and jumpstart the creation of minority-owned plant-touching and ancillary cannabis businesses. Staff will provide technical assistance on the execution of business plans for new dispensary, craft grow and infuser licensees, as well as guidance for ancillary businesses seeking to provide goods and services to the cannabis industry.
The ICEC plans to collaborate with Illinois colleges and universities to provide cannabis curriculum for students, entrepreneurs and community members predominantly from historically marginalized communities. Participants will receive hands-on trainings focused on compliance, security, technology and daily operations in a formerly operational, fully functioning dispensary to understand all aspects of cannabis retail. The ICEC will also serve as a community recruitment center providing resources for employment at Cresco Labs and other Illinois-based cannabis companies.