Verano Announces Exclusive Partnership with The Weldon Project’s Mission Green to Advance the Organization’s Cannabis Clemency and Advocacy Initiatives

Chicago, Illinois, UNITED STATES


  • Partnership represents Verano’s largest national fundraising campaign to date supporting cannabis criminal justice reform
  • In addition to its initial $50,000 contribution to Mission Green, beginning June 3, 2022, Verano will match up to $13,000 in customer and patient-generated donations on the first Friday of each month
  • Fundraising campaign spans Company’s nearly 100 dispensaries across 13 states in honor of the 13 years that Weldon Angelos, founder of The Weldon Project and Mission Green, served in prison for cannabis-related charges

CHICAGO, June 01, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Verano Holdings Corp. (CSE: VRNO) (OTCQX: VRNOF) (“Verano” or the “Company”), a leading multi-state cannabis company, today announced the launch of an exclusive partnership in support of The Weldon Project’s Mission Green, the non-profit organization’s initiative that promotes clemency for cannabis-related offenses. Through this partnership, Verano will initiate a nationwide fundraising campaign on June 3 that will remain active throughout 2022, available exclusively at the Company’s retail locations.

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.

As one of the nation’s largest multi-state cannabis companies, Verano has supported cannabis expungement and advocacy programs since its foundation in 2014. The Company’s exclusive partnership with Mission Green will mobilize employees, patients, adult-use customers and cannabis reform advocates to support the organization’s ongoing cannabis social justice initiatives. In addition to its initial $50,000 donation to Mission Green, Verano will also leverage its extensive retail operations across nearly 100 dispensaries in 13 states to engage and educate dispensary visitors on Mission Green and provide guests with donation and petition information. On the first Friday of each month, Verano will match up to $13,000 in customer donations that will be facilitated exclusively at the Company’s flagship Zen Leaf and MÜV dispensaries, and additional retail locations it operates across its national footprint.

“As one of the largest multi-state cannabis operators in the U.S., we’re proud to partner with Weldon Angelos and the Mission Green team and use our scale to amplify our support for cannabis clemency and continue the fight to repeal the harmful, outdated cannabis laws that have negatively impacted countless communities and individuals for generations,” said George Archos, Verano Founder and Chief Executive Officer. “The important work the Mission Green team facilitates in support of cannabis clemency initiatives and advocacy across the political spectrum is essential as we seek to right historical wrongs and create positive, meaningful changes in our society, with the ultimate goal of ending cannabis prohibition.”

“By partnering with a respected and established industry leader like Verano, our organization is able to scale up our efforts to further dismantle the countless injustices that persist as a result of cannabis prohibition,” said Weldon Angelos, Founder of Mission Green. “We take tremendous pride in joining forces with a team that shares common values and commitments to supporting communities disproportionality impacted by the failed War on Drugs. I believe our donation campaign is essential in galvanizing support from both Verano and Americans across the country who share our vision of supporting and implementing impactful cannabis reform.”

Further, Verano will continue supporting The Weldon Project’s cannabis reform and clemency advocacy at the federal level. The Weldon Project recently 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, including the SAFE and MORE Acts. 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.

About Verano

Verano is a leading, vertically integrated, multi-state cannabis operator in the U.S., devoted to the ongoing improvement of communal wellness by providing responsible access to regulated cannabis products. With a mission to address vital health and wellness needs, Verano produces a comprehensive suite of premium, innovative cannabis products sold under its trusted portfolio of consumer brands, including Verano, Avexia, Encore, and MÜV. Verano’s portfolio encompasses 15 U.S. states, with active operations in 13, including 12 production facilities comprising over 1,000,000 square feet of cultivation capacity. Verano designs, builds, and operates dispensaries under retail brands including Zen Leaf and MÜV, delivering a superior cannabis shopping experience in both medical and adult-use markets. 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.

Contacts:

Media
Verano
Steve Mazeika
Director, Communications
Steve.Mazeika@verano.com
312-348-4430

The Weldon Project/Mission Green
Heidi Minx
heidi@theweldonproject.org
917-531-9599

Investors
Verano
Julianna Paterra, CFA
Director, Investor Relations
Julianna.Paterra@verano.com

Forward Looking Statements

This press release contains certain "forward-looking information" within the meaning of applicable Canadian securities legislation and may also contain statements that may constitute "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 information and 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 information or 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", "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". The forward-looking information and forward-looking statements contained herein include, but are not limited to, statements or information with respect to the Company’s operations. Forward-looking information and 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 information and statements herein, including, without limitation, the risk factors discussed in the Company's publicly available filings on SEDAR at www.sedar.com. The forward-looking information and 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.

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