Formerly-Incarcerated Learn to Grow Cannabis Under New Ohio Program

A program by Ohio cannabis firm Riviera Creek and social justice advocacy group United Returning Citizens is teaching formerly incarcerated individuals how to grow cannabis for commercial purposes.

Full story after the jump.

An Ohio cannabis company is partnering with an organization that helps formerly incarcerated people transition back into society to train people convicted of cannabis crimes how to grow cannabis legally, WKBN reports. The partnership between Riviera Creek and United Returning Citizens aims to help ex-convicts get jobs in the cannabis industry.

Dionne Dowdy, who runs United Returning Citizens, said the two firms are “building out a cannabis, hemp hydroponic school.”

“So we’re going through the school and we’re going to give them business development. Then after that, we did a partnership with Riviera where they’re going to come here for mentorship, for internship.”Dowdy to WKBN

Brian Kessler, Riviera Creek’s board chairman, called it a “wonderful program” adding that the company’s best employees come with training.

“You’re really encouraging people who maybe don’t have great pasts after they come out of prison to give them something that they’re actually skilled at,” Kessler said in the report, “but now teaching them how to do it safely, how to do it properly, how to do it legally.”

Under grow cannabis law, all cannabis industry employees must be vetted by the state Bureau of Criminal Investigation and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The program is funded by a $200,000 grant from the Hawthorne Social Justice Fund and will see 10 formerly incarcerated people go through the 18-month program, the report says. Two people have already started the training.

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