Cannabis culture thrives around the concept of community.
An initiative started in 2020 by an American cannabis company is now helping communities thrive from cannabis culture.
Chicago-based Cresco Labs today announced that employee participants of the company’s “Make a Difference” initiative volunteered more than 5,000 service hours since the program’s establishment in June 2020.
Cresco says that it started the initiative last year as a public statement in response to the deaths of George Floyd, Bronna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and others.
In 2020, the team participated in more than 75 volunteer activities that supported more than 50 community-based organizations.
“As stewards of the cannabis industry and good corporate citizens of this country, we have an obligation to use our considerable platform to promote progress and support the communities where we work and live,” says Cresco Co-Founder and CEO Charlie Bachtell. “This is fundamental to our vision of being the most important company in the industry and the responsibilities that such a vision requires.”
While the global pandemic brought some challenges to volunteering, Bachtell says that Cresco team members persevered because corporate social responsibility, volunteerism, community support, social justice, and social equity activism are part of the fabric of the company.
Over the seven months since the program’s inception, Cresco Labs employees volunteered in 28 cities in California, Arizona, Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, and New York.
Cresco collaborated with institutions focused on veterans, food insecurity, social justice, COVID-19 relief, mental health, environmental conservation, homelessness, low-income families, and people with disabilities.
Volunteers packaged and distributed nearly 10,000 pounds of food, donated toys for the holiday season, and picked up more than 100,000 pounds of trash at parks, beaches, forest preserves, and canals.
Teams also collected and purchased clothing and personal care items for people in need and sent hundreds of letters to cannabis prisoners, elderly people, and others in need of emotional support.
“We are so proud to have such passionate and hard-working staff who contributed their time, expertise and funds to this initiative,” says Cresco VP Tai Duncan. “They truly did make a difference, building meaningful relationships along the way. Cresco is committed to continuing this effort in 2021 and beyond.”
Cresco says that it designs its corporate social responsibility strategies with a commitment to serving communities in which it operates in a way that aligns with company goals and values.