– Company-sponsored expungement clinics hosted in Maryland, Minnesota and New Mexico –
– Company also supports non-profit organizations dedicated to cannabis criminal justice reform –
Goodness Growth Holdings, Inc. (“Goodness Growth” or the “Company”) (CSE: GDNS; OTCQX: GDNSF), a physician-led, science-focused cannabis company and IP developer, today announced that it has continued its efforts to help individuals impacted by non-violent cannabis convictions with three free expungement clinics.
During the month of October, Goodness Growth led two expungement clinics in Maryland and New Mexico. A third clinic will take place in Minneapolis, Minnesota on Friday, Nov. 18.
Minor cannabis charges continue to show up for decades after conviction on background checks that are commonly run as part of the application process for jobs, home rentals, college admissions and business loans. In some states, they can also restrict a person’s ability to vote. Nationwide, 90 percent of cannabis charges are for simple, non-violent possession of cannabis.
Black, Indigenous and Persons of Color (BIPOC) have historically been arrested and convicted for cannabis-related charges at much higher rates than their white counterparts. Even today, as 39 states and Washington, D.C. have legalized the medical or adult use of marijuana, minorities remain nearly four times more likely to be arrested for cannabis possession, 50 percent more likely to be convicted, and on average face 50 percent longer prison sentences. Today, over 40,000 people are still incarcerated for cannabis charges, while the industry has grown to over $10 billion in annual sales.
“The so-called war on drugs has affected communities of color disproportionately for almost a century in the United States,” said Paloma Lehfeldt, MD, Senior Director of Partnerships and Co-Chair of the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Council of Goodness Growth Holdings. “As a company, we stand with these individuals across the country and continue to fight for restorative justice and clemency to right the wrongs that continue to affect these communities. There is absolutely no reason that any individual should have charges for a plant that has been deemed legal in the states in which we operate, or in any place in the world.”
In October, Goodness Growth led a free expungement clinic in Albuquerque, NM, with support from the New Mexico Department of Public Safety, student volunteers from the University of New Mexico School of Law, the Law Office of the Public Defender, and the New Mexico Cannabis Chamber of Commerce. Goodness Growth also hosted a virtual expungement clinic for Maryland residents in October, its third clinic of the year to assist Maryland residents. Thanks to a partnership with Maryland Legal Aid, Goodness Growth plans to host additional virtual clinics on a quarterly basis.
Goodness Growth’s next free expungement clinic will be held 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at its Green Goods dispensary in Minneapolis with the help of professors and law students from the Mitchell Hamline School of Law and team members from The Legal Revolution. Expungement in Minnesota is a multi-step process that includes an appearance in court; at the clinic, participants will receive assistance filling out the paperwork to start the process and receive information about the next steps. Interested persons should register online for an appointment time at bit.ly/mnexpungement2022.
“As a company that benefits from participating in the cannabis industry, we have recognized the importance of working to ensure that the cannabis industry is fair and equitable to all people since our very beginning,” said Amber Shimpa, Chief Administrative Officer of Goodness Growth. “Hosting and sponsoring expungement clinics throughout the areas where we operate is one step toward reaching that goal. With the help of our partners in these different states, we continue to be able to reach those whose lives have been affected because of minor, non-violent cannabis charges and help them clear those charges from their records.”
In addition to holding expungement clinics throughout the country, Goodness Growth partners with the Last Prisoner Project (“LPP”) in support of its Roll It Up for Justice campaign. The LPP is a non-profit organization dedicated to cannabis criminal justice reform; Roll It Up for Justice raises money for LPP’s clemency initiative, which works to release cannabis prisoners and help them rebuild their lives post-incarceration.
Goodness Growth Holdings, Inc., is a physician-led, science-focused holding company whose mission is to bring the power of plants to the world. The Company’s operations consist primarily of its multi-state cannabis company subsidiary, Vireo Health, Inc., and its science and intellectual property incubator, Resurgent Biosciences, Inc. The Company manufactures proprietary, branded cannabis products in environmentally friendly facilities and state-of-the-art cultivation sites, and distributes its products through its growing network of Green Goods® and other retail locations and third-party dispensaries. Its team of more than 500 employees are focused on the development of differentiated products, driving scientific innovation of plant-based medicines and developing meaningful intellectual property. Today, the Company is licensed to grow, process, and/or distribute cannabis in five markets and operates 18 dispensaries across the United States. For more information about Goodness Growth Holdings, please visit www.goodnessgrowth.com.
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