GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — For the third year in a row, a Grand Rapids cannabis company is looking to give residents behind-the-scenes insight into the industry with hands-on experience.
The Cannabis Entrepreneurship Program will give five candidates the chance to learn from Fluresh how to enter and become a member of the cannabis market. The program was launched to help create “a fairer and more inclusive industry”.
“What you find in the cannabis industry is this push for social equity policy,” Fluresh general counsel and chief regulatory adviser Shoran Reid Williams told News 8. “And the theory behind the social equity policy is that black and brown communities have been decimated by the war on drugs and so those powers that be think that having a social equity arm in the fledgling industry cannabis could help right some of those wrongs.
Williams said she wanted to provide opportunities specifically for those who live in the 49507 zip code, where Fluresh is headquartered. Although the program focuses on cannabis, its main hope is to inspire change in the community.
“I don’t care if anyone from 49507 decides to be in the cannabis industry,” she said. “I care a lot more about doing 49507, and communities like that, having better parks, creating ways for people in those communities to have ways out of that condition, out of those circumstances.”
The five people selected by Fluresh will see how the company operates for nine months. Part of the training will include industry learning, technical assistance, and understanding the regulations under which cannabis businesses operate. But the majority of the program will focus on what matters most to individuals, Williams said.
Previous participants have stayed on to work with Fluresh or used the experience to find new jobs. Jessica Austin, who completed the program in 2021, is now the owner of Creative carvingswhich makes fruit bowls and arrangements in Grand Rapids.
“The Fluresh Cannabis Entrepreneur Program has helped me on my cannabis entrepreneurial journey,” Austin said in a Fluresh statement. “The key sessions helped me identify how I can thrive in the cannabis industry through networking and educational opportunities. The relationships I made and the things I learned about cannabis. cannabis industry started here.
Although attendees get a first-hand look at how Fluresh works, Williams said the company isn’t worried about creating new competitors. The idea is to educate as many people as possible about cannabis.
“Obviously we’re not opening up the kitchen to our competition, but for people who want to gain experience, we really give a very raw look under the hood,” she said.
Applications for the program will be accepted until December 2. The five people selected to participate will be notified a week later. You can find more information on how to apply by click here.
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