NEW YORK – Ascend Wellness Holdings, Inc. (“AWH” or the “Company”) (CSE: AAWH.U), a multi-state, vertically integrated cannabis operator, today announced its enhanced commitment to Last Prisoner Project (“LPP”), a cannabis criminal justice-focused nonprofit organization. The pledge, which is part of a partnership with LPP that was launched in July 2020, will see AWH commit to raising an additional $500,000 by July 2022 through a customer donation program at all AWH retail locations. The Company completed its previous pledge to raise a total of $250,000 through a similar customer donation program and company match of $150,000 this past February, five months ahead of its goal.
As a leading multi-state operator (“MSO”), AWH is committed to helping end the criminalization of cannabis and rectifying the injustices inflicted on those incarcerated for cannabis-related activity. “The disproportionate treatment and imprisonment of people of color for cannabis-related offences is evident, and it’s our responsibility as a cannabis operator to help bring restorative justice to the industry,” said Abner Kurtin, CEO and Founder of AWH. “We’re honored to have made a direct impact with our previous contributions in freeing Michael Thompson from his 60-year prison sentence, and thank customers of Michigan Supply and Provisions for their generous donations to welcome him home. This accomplishment is why LPP’s work is so important and why AWH has decided to increase our commitment. We urge other cannabis operators to meet AWH at our level of support.”
Following the early completion of its initial pledge made to LPP, AWH has doubled its original donation goal. Starting July, AWH retail locations will ask customers to voluntarily donate one dollar to LPP at checkout with a corporate match for each dollar donated up to $250,000, for a total of $500,000. In addition, AWH CEO and Founder Abner Kurtin is personally donating $50,000 to LPP, and will be appointed as chair of the organization’s Freedom Circle.
“Last Prisoner Project is extremely grateful for AWH’s ongoing support and generosity,” said Mary Bailey, Managing Director of Last Prisoner Project. “We were delighted to see the consumer enthusiasm for social justice reform in the cannabis industry, as evidenced by the rapid completion of AWH’s initial pledge. The more cannabis companies are involved in our mission, the greater impact our work has in dismantling the discriminatory policies that have devastated millions of lives.”
“AWH is proud to have executed on our original commitment to LPP months ahead of our target date, an achievement that has inspired us to go even further with our secondary donations objective,” said Chris Melillo, Chief Revenue Officer at AWH. “LPP’s work has made incredible progress in the fight to bring criminal justice reform to the cannabis industry and AWH shares in LPP’s dedication to this urgent mission.”
AWH is a vertically integrated operator with assets and partners in Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, Massachusetts and New Jersey. AWH owns and operates dispensaries and state-of-the-art cultivation facilities, growing award winning strains and producing a curated selection of products. AWH produces and distributes Ozone branded products. Bettering your life with cannabis. For more information, visit www.awholdings.com.
ABOUT LAST PRISONER PROJECT
The Last Prisoner Project (LPP) is a coalition of cannabis industry leaders, executives and artists dedicated to bringing restorative justice to the cannabis industry. LPP is dedicated to releasing cannabis prisoners and helping them rebuild their lives. As the United States moves away from the criminalization of cannabis, giving rise to a major new industry, there remains the fundamental injustice inflicted upon those who have suffered criminal convictions and the consequences of those convictions. Through intervention, advocacy and awareness campaigns, the forces behind the Last Prisoner Project will work to redress the past and continuing harms of these unjust laws and policies and are dedicated to making sure that every last victimless cannabis prisoner walks free. Visit www.LastPrisonerProject.org or text FREEDOM to 24365 to donate and learn more.