AWH Announces Fundraising Initiative for Last Prisoner Project

NEW YORK, June 30, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -PRESS RELEASE- AWH
(formerly Ascend Wellness Holdings), a multi-state, vertically integrated
cannabis operator, today announced its partnership with Last Prisoner Project.
LPP is a nonprofit organization dedicated to clemency and expungement, re-entry
programs and advocacy for individuals with cannabis convictions. The partnership
will launch on July 1 with a commitment to raise $250,000 through a
customer donation program at all AWH retail locations, which includes a company
match of $125,000.

As a leading private multi-state operator, AWH recognizes its urgent
responsibility in dismantling an unjust justice system that disproportionately
incarcerates Black and brown individuals for cannabis-related offences while
legal companies are openly profiting off of the sales of the same

Starting on July 1, the company will launch a three-tiered approach to
support and build awareness along with the corporate match to LPP.  AWH
retail locations will also ask customers to donate $1 to LPP at checkout. To
further incentivize participation, the company will offer customers who donate
to the program entry into a monthly raffle for a $250 gift certificate
prize.  AWH will be matching every dollar donated for a total of $250,000.
To build awareness for LPP, retail locations will provide each customer with a
postcard that features a story of a person who has been impacted by the
criminalization of cannabis.

“As part of our company ethos, we’ve built external local partnerships to
recruit and hire employees who come through re-entry programs and we offer
record-sealing clinics, but we needed to do something bigger and more
impactful, said Andrea Cabral,” CEO of Ascend Mass.  “The harm
caused by the over-policing and over-prosecution of Black and brown people,
especially for cannabis, is ongoing and for many as relentless as it’s ever
been. LPP’s precise mission and method is what drew us: Change laws, change
policies, build job skills and support networks and above all “don’t stop
until the last cannabis prisoner is released.”

AWH will incorporate Last Prisoner Project donations in all future
dispensary launches to bring awareness to the organization and challenge state
governments to reform local cannabis incarceration policies. In addition to
donation matching, the program will also launch an e-commerce and text message
campaign to benefit LPP. In the coming months, the company plans to launch
a campaign in Illinois that will name a flower strain after a local LPP client,
highlight the individual’s life story and donate a portion of product sales
back to the individual.

“Our industry will only become more powerful when we work together to
lift up those who have been harmed by these discriminatory policies,” said
Mary Bailey, managing director of LPP. “I am encouraged to see large
operators like AWH stepping up and recognizing the need for more social
advocacy in the cannabis industry.”

“Legal companies can no longer stand idly by and profit off of cannabis
while individuals like Michael Thompson are serving a 60 year sentence in
Michigan for selling the same thing,” said Abner Kurtin, founder of AWH.
“This is the largest financial commitment made to LPP by an MSO and we are
proud to lead the way towards corporate responsibility and providing greater
financial commitments to LPP from the industry. We will work with LPP to
encourage other companies to join us at the champion sponsor level.”


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