Curaleaf joins 2nd Chance Initiative created by Illinois Equity Staffing

More than one hundred cannabis industry jobs across the country for chemists, cultivators, custodians, and dozens of other functions are being promoted through the 2nd Chance Initiative developed by Illinois Equity Staffing (IES).  

Wakefield, Mass.-based Curaleaf is the first multistate operator to commit to the initiative in providing employment opportunities to individuals with criminal backgrounds seeking to enter or advance within the fast-growing legal industry.

IES last summer began exploring ways to create professional pathways in the sector for individuals with criminal backgrounds. After a series of attempts to work with Illinois legislators  ultimately went nowhere during last January’s Illinois General Assembly Lame-duck session, IES in collaboration with Illinois-based social advocacy groups decided to create their own program.

“I felt like a hamster on a wheel,” said IES account executive Shawnee Williams. “We said let’s subtract legislators and the state capitol from the equation and focus on what we can do as a company right now to infuse more equity and inclusion in the cannabis industry.

Other participating organizations in the 2nd Chance Initiative include Social Equity Empowerment Network (S.E.E.N.), Cannabis Equity Coalition Illinois, Equity and Transformation, and the Medical Cannabis Community. 

Michigan Cannabis Career Fair + Conference Saturday

Executives at plant-touching Michigan operators including Lume Cannabis Company, Fluresh, and Sticky along with leaders from fast-growing digital ancillary organizations will be on hand virtually this Saturday for the Michigan Cannabis Career Fair + Conference

Topics include retail, compliance, marketing, and entrepreneurship. The conference is organized by Denver-based cannabis career platform Vangst and Michigan-based tech solutions provider touCanna. 

Illinois Women in Cannabis explores the plant’s impact on patients with PTSD 

Encouraged by a growing body of evidence that supports the use of cannabis to treat patients with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), organizations including Illinois Women in Cannabis (IWC) are running campaigns throughout June for PTSD Awareness Month showcasing relevant data and testimonials. 

PTSD and cannabis research is ongoing, despite a prohibition on federal research support for cannabis elements – such as THC – that may also get people high. For instance, a 2021 study by Forsythe, M. L., & Boileau suggests that “Cannabinoids were shown to improve overall PTSD symptoms, including sleep quality and quantity, hyperarousal, and treatment-resistant nightmares.”

The primary PTSD symptoms include anxiety, social anxiety, nightmares, and sleep disruption from nightmares, explains cannabis nurse Rebecca Abraham. In these early days, Abraham notes, researchers are just scratching the surface in terms of how to use cannabis to treat specific symptoms.

“There isn’t a large enough body of evidence to differentiate for the different subgroups of the PTSD experience and appropriate cannabis care or dosing,” she explained in an interview coordinated by Illinois Women and Cannabis members Leighann Wood and Ellen Snelling. “But it is definitely noted and something for cannabis clinicians to be mindful of for future case studies and research.”On June 28, IWC in collaboration with Balance Veterans and Operation 1620, will convene a meeting focused on the Mental Aspects of Cannabis.

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Brad Spirrison is a journalist, serial entrepreneur and media ecologist. He lives in Chicago with his son. Interests include music, meditation and Miles Davis.