A purpose-driven partnership to fund opportunities aimed at achieving an equitable cannabis industry
HUMBOLDT, Calif., May 19, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Cookies’ Social Impact Program, an initiative by international cannabis brand COOKIES dedicated to creating a more equitable and accessible cannabis industry, and WebberWild Impact Foundation “WebberWild,” a non-profit organization that funds education and training for persons of color pursuing careers in the cannabis sector, announced today the formation of a purpose-driven partnership to provide resources and create opportunities within the cannabis industry that empower communities and people who have been marginalized.
Initially, the partners will leverage their shared resources to establish Cookies U, a high-impact, hands-on educational experience being launched in Humboldt County that will become the model for subsequent campuses across the country. Cookies U will recruit students from communities impacted by the War on Drugs and provide a three-month long intensive and comprehensive educational curriculum to prepare them for a sustainable career in the cannabis industry. Tuition and housing will be covered through the partnership, and eligible students can receive additional coverage for lost wages, daycare expenses, and other necessities that may otherwise make participation in the program inaccessible.
“Knowledge and hands on experience are priceless. I wouldn’t be here today, in the position I’m in, if it wasn’t for the 20 years of hands on experience,” said Berner, Founder and CEO of Cookies. “I started as a budtender and worked my way up. Cookies U will provide people from groups that have been marginalized with the opportunity to learn the Business from A-to-Z. It feels good to be in a position to share this knowledge, passion, and love for the industry with people. I truly believe this is one area that has been missing for Social Equity in cannabis.”
“Not only have minorities been excessively punished and incarcerated for cannabis while others profited, but they have had unequal access to education, which perpetuates cycles of low-pay and unemployment. It is crucial that we allow those who have been impacted by the Drug War and racism to participate and benefit from the cannabis industry,” said Chris Webber, entrepreneur, five-time NBA All-Star, 2021 Basketball Hall of Fame, and Co-Founder of WebberWild. “Working with Berner and Cookies allows us to diversify representation within the cannabis industry and provide people from these communities with the tools they need for long-term success.”
Cookies U participants will be priority hires for Cookies and also all of Cookies’ partners (if they so choose) across the supply chain, including retail, cultivation, extraction and distillation, marketing and corporate finance. In addition to Cookies U, the partners will pursue other opportunities central to the mission of tearing down inequalities and creating a more accessible industry, such as community outreach, government relations, and engaging with other curriculum partners.
Students interested in applying for Cookies U can fill out a form online anytime from May 20-June 3 at https://www.impact.cookies.co/cookies-campus on the Cookies’ Social Impact Program website. Applicants must be California residents in order to apply.
About Cookies Social Impact Program
Cookies is a cannabis brand formed by a shared vision: bringing communities together for positive impact. Cookies’ Social Impact Program is comprehensive. Their mission is to target issues crucial to creating a more equitable and accessible industry. To accomplish this goal, they support social equity initiatives through public outreach, education, and reinvestment in communities negatively impacted by the War on Drugs. They partner with local organizations already making positive impacts, helping to restore the livelihood of families and individuals while providing opportunities to advance careers.
The WebberWild Foundation is a non-profit organization focused on training and education for persons of color pursuing careers in the cannabis sector. The foundation is affiliated with the Webber Wild Impact Fund, LP that invests in companies led by entrepreneurs of color pursuing careers in the cannabis sector and provides them with an ecosystem of business resources that will facilitate research and development (R&D), cultivation, retail licensing, distribution, branding and marketing. The fund was co-founded by five-time NBA All-Star and 2021 Basketball Hall of Fame Chris Webber and Jason Wild, Founder and CEO of JW Asset Management.