Amidst Legalization, VeranoTM Hosts Cannabis Workshop Geared Toward Immigrant & Refugee Communities

Chicago, Illinois, UNITED STATES

(Chicago, IL), Jan. 29, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Verano TM, in partnership with Instituto del Progresso Latino (IDPL) will host a brand-new cannabis workshop, providing attendees with general information and insight relating to new state adult-use legislation which went into effect on January 1st. The workshop will also cover the social equity component of the program and how it could impact those interested in participating. The event will take place on Thursday, January 30th at 6:00pm at IDPL, 2520 S Western Ave in Chicago, and is open to the public.

The workshop will be led by Renzo Mejia, Vice President of New Markets at Verano. Mejia lends perspective from his own rising cannabis career, which began at the retail level in 2015 as a dispensary General Manager. He then spent nearly two years in wholesale before settling into his current role in New Markets last June (2018). The range of his experience and upward trajectory, in what is still a nascent industry, are as exceptional as they are encouraging.

“This is a very exciting moment in time, for us operators, but principally for the people of Illinois. The impact of legalization takes on many forms, dependent upon who you’re talking to; from adults who simply look forward to visiting a recreational dispensary, to the many people who’ve been harshly punished for cannabis related crimes, to those seeking employment and economic opportunity in the growing industry. Being an immigrant myself, I can’t help but think about the implications for others like me,” said Mejia, a Peruvian-born product of Chicago Public Schools (CPS), who learned to speak English as a second language growing up in Chicago’s Humboldt Park neighborhood. “This workshop marks the beginning of what we expect to be a poignant partnership between Verano and IDPL, first concentrating on retail workforce development within immigrant communities across Chicagoland.”

Initial plans have been drawn for a pilot program that will accommodate 100 participants, with anticipation of expansion. The program will include – but is not limited to – job placement services, resume review, mock interview work and more. Verano has made a substantial financial commitment to ensure the program’s success.

While the IDPL intrinsically centers around the Latino community, its programming is not exclusive. They welcome immigrants and refugees from all over. “We’re very fortunate to work with such a wonderful organization. Combining their strengths in education and development programming with our proficiency in retail operations and deep understanding of the cannabis industry, we aim to provide game-changing resources to a group of people who have long been at a disadvantage just because of where they were born,” said Mejia.

Verano and IDPL will also join forces to launch a new youth drug awareness campaign for the students of [IDPL’s] Health Sciences Career Academy. “While we work with this group of adults to unearth better employment opportunities, it’s also imperative that we engage the younger generation; to deliver a critical message about the risks associated with drugs and drug abuse. We’re optimistic that our perspective will help facilitate productive dialogue and build trust,” said Mejia.

Verano will work with industry and community leaders to build accelerated programs that meet trade needs and place students in high-demand positions, now including those found in the burgeoning adult-use cannabis sector thanks to their new partnership with the IDPL.


Verano™ is a national, vertically integrated operator of licensed cannabis cultivation, processing and retail facilities; dedicated to improving lives by providing safe access to effective, pesticide-free products that profoundly impact the communities it serves. Verano produces a full suite of premium, artisanal cannabis products, offering superior medicinal therapies. It designs, builds and operates unique Zen Leaf™ branded dispensary environments that offer an exceptional user experience with incomparable customer service and care in both medical and adult-use markets. Verano distributes cannabis concentrates, edibles, extracts, flower, tinctures & topicals, many in precision-dosed THC and CBD formulations, under its trusted premium brands: Encore Company™, Avexia™ and verano™. 

For more information, visit and follow us on social media:
Instagram: @veranobrands

Verano Corporate Office
t: 312-265-0730
Media Relations