CHICAGO, Sept. 18, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Verano Holdings Corp. (CSE: VRNO) (OTCQX: VRNOF) (“Verano” or the “Company”), a leading multi-state cannabis company, today announced the launch of the Company’s Round Up for Cannabis Reform dispensary donation program benefitting The Weldon Project’s Mission Green and the non-profit organization’s advocacy for cannabis-related criminal justice reform. Round Up for Cannabis Reform allows guests at 127 of Verano’s signature Zen Leaf and MÜV dispensaries across 12 states to round up purchases to the nearest dollar to directly support Mission Green’s cannabis clemency, advocacy, and criminal justice reform initiatives.
Founded by cannabis advocate Weldon Angelos, who served a 13-year prison sentence for selling less than $1,000 worth of cannabis before being granted clemency in 2016, Mission Green creates pathways for expungement and pardons for individuals convicted of cannabis-related offenses at the state, local, and federal levels. Mission Green also provides legal assistance, re-entry programs, and additional support services for formerly incarcerated individuals without access to legal counsel.
Verano’s Round Up for Cannabis Reform program builds on the Company’s 2022 groundbreaking partnership with Mission Green that generated $140,715 in proceeds, spawned the formation of the Mission Green Alliance of more than 20 industry stakeholders, and supported efforts that led to the release of Luke Scarmazzo in 2023, who spent 14 years incarcerated for non-violent cannabis-related offenses.
“As the conversation surrounding long overdue federal cannabis reform continues gaining momentum in Washington and nationwide, supporting Mission Green’s pivotal work to drive impactful cannabis clemency, advocacy, and criminal justice reform is more important now than ever before,” said George Archos, Verano Founder and Chief Executive Officer. “I am proud to build on Verano’s legacy as Mission Green’s largest single donor following our 2022 campaign that delivered more than $140,000 in proceeds, which contributed to the successful release of Luke Scarmazzo from prison earlier this year. We are grateful for the generosity of our valued customers, medical patients, and team members for their ongoing support of Mission Green and our shared goal to amend decades of failed cannabis policy, support meaningful reform efforts, and end cannabis prohibition.”
“I am immensely grateful to Verano, our single largest donor and a true champion of cannabis reform, for their continued support of Mission Green,” said Weldon Angelos, Founder of Mission Green. “The Round Up for Cannabis Reform program demonstrates Verano’s commitment to addressing the societal imbalances caused by prohibition and serves as a powerful testament to their dedication to responsible and equitable cannabis practices. For the past several years, Verano’s unwavering support has been the driving force behind Mission Green’s success, and their commitment to social responsibility has become self-evident. We remain thankful for Verano’s continued partnership and their vision and ability to execute successful, dispensary-driven donation efforts like the Round Up for Cannabis Reform program at scale.”
Along with the Round Up for Cannabis Reform program, Verano will continue supporting The Weldon Project’s cannabis advocacy at the federal level. The Weldon Project has been engaged with the White House and senior political leaders regarding clemency initiatives and legislation efforts aimed at creating a path for federal legalization and cannabis banking reform. Verano and The Weldon Project encourage advocates to share their support by signing The Weldon Project’s Change.org cannabis clemency petition, which also includes an accompanying letter issued to President Biden that is co-signed by an assortment of celebrities, academics, politicians and other notable figures, available at: https://www.change.org/p/joseph-r-biden-dear-president-biden-pardon-all-federal-cannabis-offenders.
Verano Holdings Corp. (CSE: VRNO) (OTCQX: VRNOF), one of the U.S. cannabis industry’s leading companies based on historical revenue, geographic scope and brand performance, is a vertically integrated, multi-state operator embracing a mission of saying Yes to plant progress and the bold exploration of cannabis. Verano offers a superior cannabis shopping experience in medical and adult use markets under the Zen Leaf™ and MÜV™ dispensary banners and produces a comprehensive suite of high-quality, regulated cannabis products sold under its diverse portfolio of trusted consumer brands including Verano™, MÜV™, Savvy™, BITS™, Encore™, and Avexia™. Verano’s active operations span 13 U.S. states, comprised of 14 production facilities with over 1,000,000 square feet of cultivation capacity. Learn more at www.verano.com.
About Mission Green
Mission Green is an initiative of The Weldon Project (“TWP”), a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that works directly with lawmakers, advocacy groups, incarcerated individuals, and the White House on a broad range of criminal justice issues and advocates on behalf of currently or formerly incarcerated drug offenders who were sentenced to prison for nonviolent drug offenses. The Mission Green initiative raises the bar for awareness and social justice by providing unique ways for cannabis businesses and consumers to participate in a nationwide campaign aimed to provide relief to those who have been negatively impacted by prohibition. Mission Green’s cannabis clemency program is designed to secure the release of those serving prison time for cannabis-related offenses, as well as to pave the road for pardons or expungements so that those who have been affected can move forward with their lives. Mission Green is led by socially conscious leaders who have been affected by the justice system and have firsthand experience with the issues that they are seeking to solve. Those who have been most harmed by the system are particularly positioned to develop and promote ideas that will begin to change it. You can learn more online at www.theweldonproject.org, www.projectmissiongreen.org.
Julianna Paterra, CFA
VP, Investor Relations
Forward Looking Statements
This press release may contain “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the safe harbor provisions of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such forward-looking statements are not representative of historical facts or information or current condition, but instead represent only the Company’s beliefs regarding future events, plans or objectives, many of which, by their nature, are inherently uncertain and outside of the Company’s control. Generally, such forward-looking statements can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as “plans”, “expects” or “does not expect”, “is expected”, “budget”, “future”, “scheduled”, “estimates”, “forecasts”, “projects” “intends”, “anticipates” or “does not anticipate”, or “believes”, or variations of such words and phrases or may contain statements that certain actions, events or results “may”, “could”, “would”, “might” or “will be taken”, “will continue”, “will occur” or “will be achieved”. Forward-looking statements involve and are subject to assumptions and known and unknown risks, uncertainties, and other factors which may cause actual events, results, performance, or achievements of the Company to be materially different from future events, results, performance, and achievements expressed or implied by forward-looking statements herein, including, without limitation, the risk factors described in the Company’s annual report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2022 filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission at www.sec.gov. The forward-looking statements contained in this press release are made as of the date of this press release, and the Company does not undertake to update any forward-looking information or forward-looking statements that are contained or referenced herein, except as may be required in accordance with applicable securities laws. All subsequent written and oral forward-looking information and statements attributable to the Company or persons acting on its behalf is expressly qualified in its entirety by this notice regarding forward-looking information and statements.
1 Excludes Ohio due to regulatory restrictions.
Source: Verano Holdings Corp.