Chicago, Illinois-based Cresco Labs has announced they are accepting applications for their community business incubator program for the state’s minority-owned cannabis industry entrepreneurs, WGNTV reports. The program aims to provide technical and financial assistance to minority-owned businesses hoping to apply for craft-cultivation or infusion licenses.
The program – called SEED or Social Equity & Education Development – “is designed to ensure that all members of our society have the skills, knowledge and opportunity to work in and own businesses in this industry,” the company’s website explains. Applications for the program are online and close January 14.
The Illinois deadline for new craft-growing and infusion businesses is March 16 and new licenses are expected to be issued by July 1. The Illinois Department of Agriculture will issue a limited number of licenses for new cannabis companies, including some reserved for social equity applicants – minority applicants and those most negatively impacted by the War on Drugs.
The company first announced the program last May. Cresco Labs CEO & Co-Founder Charlie Bachtell said that, in addition to the incubator program, SEED also plans on “collaborating with universities to develop cannabis-focused curriculum” and “working with local agencies and community organizations to sponsor expungement events.”
We are also focused on providing a pathway to business ownership through our comprehensive incubator program, which we believe will assist states in achieving the diversity goals they have established for their regulated cannabis programs.” – Bachtell, in a statement
In all, Cresco hopes to provide 20,000 individuals with the opportunity to seek employment in the cannabis industry by 2022.
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