Harvest Health & Recreation, Inc. Partners with “Prison to Prosperity” Re-Entry Program
Harvest Health & Recreation, Inc. (CSE: HARV, OTCQX: HRVSF), is a vertically integrated cannabis company with one of the largest and deepest footprints in the U.S. The company announced an exclusive partnership with Last Prisoner Project (“LPP”), a new non-profit organization committed to making sure that every cannabis prisoner is released, welcomed home and supported by their community. Harvest is the first large cannabis company to create a proprietary program focused on job creation for formerly incarcerated prisoners that have been affected by the criminalization of cannabis. Harvest and LPP’s “Prison to Prosperity” pipeline of talent will focus on facilitating re-entry of individuals impacted by the war on drugs back into society, through workshop training programs, with the goal of providing employment opportunities at Harvest locations nationwide.
Headquartered in Tempe, Arizona, Harvest Health & Recreation, Inc. is a multi-state cannabis operator (MSO) and vertically-integrated cannabis company. Subject to completion of announced acquisitions, Harvest will have one of the largest footprints in the U.S., with rights to more than 210 facilities, of which approximately 130 are retail locations, and more than 1,700 employees across 18 states and territories. Since 2011, the company has been committed to expanding its Harvest House of Cannabis retail and wholesale presence throughout the U.S., acquiring, creating and growing leading brands for patients and consumers nationally and continuing on a path of profitable growth. Harvest’s mission is to improve lives through the goodness of cannabis and is focused on its vision to become the most valuable cannabis company in the world.
Prison to Prosperity Program
According to the US Department of Justice Bureau of Justice Statistics, within three years of release over two-thirds of released prisoners are re-arrested, and within six years of release that number jumps to 79%. The “Prison to Prosperity” program is designed to reverse this statistic and demonstrates Harvest’s continued commitment to social justice, diversity and inclusion. It is designed to bring restorative justice to communities most affected, while bringing positive economic impacts to the residents and communities that the company serves.
“Over 40,000 prisoners in the U.S. are currently serving sentences for cannabis charges. While many companies are focused on decriminalization, expungement and clemency, Harvest recognized that re-entry can be incredibly difficult without help,” said Harvest Chief Executive Officer Steve White. “We’ve partnered with the Last Prisoner Project to provide training courses, workshops and funding to help individuals re-enter the job marketplace, with the hope of ultimately placing them in employment opportunities within our Harvest network.”
“I launched the Last Prisoner Project out of the conviction that it is wrong to continue to punish people for something society has decided should no longer be illegal, and in the belief that if I asked the legal cannabis industry to contribute the funds needed to gain the release of our prisoners, cannabis companies would see it as an opportunity to do the right thing, to put the values cannabis teaches into action,” said Steve DeAngelo, Founder of Last Prisoner Project. “I am pleased and heartened by the response so far from cannabis companies and by many world-renowned musicians, including Stephen and Damian Marley, Willie Nelson, and Eric Rachmany. This overwhelmingly positive response gives me high hopes and strong confidence that the day will come when the last cannabis prisoner on Planet Earth is free to come home to their families. Until then, our mission continues.”
Harvest’s “Prison to Prosperity” program will offer vocational training opportunities and educational programs specific to the cannabis industry for those who continue to be disadvantaged by a criminal record. The program will begin with a pilot project working in tandem with local reentry organizations in California and will roll out nationally at a later date.
Last Prisoner Project (LPP) is an advocacy organization made up of cannabis industry leaders, executives and artists dedicated to making sure that every cannabis prisoner is released, welcomed home and supported by their community. LPP is focusing its efforts on clemency and expungement, re-entry programs and advocacy. 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 cannabis prisoner walks free.