GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Two Michigan cannabusinesses are launching a social equity scholarship program that will poise 20+ adults for success working in the cannabis industry.
Terrapin, a cannabis grower and processor with operations in Grand Rapids, is teaming up with JARS Cannabis, a Michigan-based operator of licensed retail dispensaries, to fund the first cohort of this new scholarship program.
The cannabis companies have united to partner with Higher Learning Institutions, Michigan’s first licensed vocational and technical school for cannabis, to offer a yearlong professional development program for minority entrepreneurs and professionals called the Cannabis Community Social Equity Scholarship (CCSE).
“The war on drugs disproportionately affected many groups and communities in Michigan,” said Terrapin CEO Chris Woods. “We feel a responsibility to help right those wrongs, and create pathways into the legal cannabis industry for those who were targeted the most.”
Anyone interested in gaining the technical knowledge to build a cannabusiness or career can apply, but the CCSE scholarship will be focused on social equity applicants. That means the focus will be on those who reside in disproportionately impacted communities and have plans to operate a marijuana establishment there; those who have marijuana-related convictions; or people who have been registered as Primary Caregivers in Michigan.
Prior to establishing the CCSE scholarship, Terrapin started working with Higher Learning Institutions by providing tours and learning opportunities for students at their Grand Rapids growing and processing facility.
“Let me tell you, it inspired them all,” said Higher Learning Institutions Director Sammie Rogers. “They all got to see the work, detail, and dedication it takes to build a facility like that, along with setting realistic expectations on funding it. It’s one thing to sit in a class and see pictures and videos of these facilities, but it’s another to visit one. They saw how the things we are learning in class are on par with what’s really happening in the industry, so it made their trust in the program even stronger.”
Higher Learning Institutions opened in February of 2020 in Pontiac and has graduated 100 students thus far. The 20 social equity scholarship recipients will undergo an accelerated program that includes education on cultivation, extraction, cannabis consultation (known as budtending), and business affairs such as applying for licensing. The program will also include experiences like facility tours, guest lecture seminars, and one-on-one mentorship meetings with industry professionals.
Terrapin has invited other cannabis companies to also join efforts with Higher Learning Institutions so additional scholarships can be offered. The demand is already high – when HLI announced the program internally on February 8, they immediately received word from over a dozen individuals. In addition to pledging funds to expand the CCSE scholarship, JARS Cannabis will also offer a General Admissions scholarship to cover the cost of individual courses including cannabis consultation, cultivation, and extraction, as well as facilitate professional development and career opportunities for Higher Learning Institutions’ students.
“JARS Cannabis is proud to support social equity efforts in Michigan through its new partnership with Higher Learning Institutions,” said Niccole Milton, director of social equity and community involvement at JARS Cannabis. “We seek to empower individuals who are eager to work in this growing industry and feel confident that this new partnership program will cultivate professional opportunities that will allow those who have been disproportionately affected by the marijuana prohibition to do so.”
Visit www.yourhigherlearning.com/scholarships for more information or to apply.
Terrapin is a consumer-focused cultivator, processor and provider of high-quality medical and recreational cannabis products. Founded in 2009, Terrapin has six storefronts on Colorado’s Front Range and operates a medical cannabis grower/processor operation in Clinton County, Pa. Terrapin also operates a medical and recreational cannabis grower/processor facility in Grand Rapids, Mich. and a medical cannabis cultivation facility in Kansas City, Missouri. For more information, visit TerrapinCareStation.com. Follow Terrapin on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
About JARS Cannabis
JARS Cannabis is a multi-state operating cannabis brand and retailer spearheading the medical and recreational cannabis markets in Michigan and Arizona. Establishing operations in 2020, JARS Cannabis is headquartered in Troy, Michigan, and has grown to collectively operate 14 storefronts across the US. Community-focused, JARS Cannabis is committed to providing the highest quality of products, with the widest variety of options, at prices people can afford, ensuring the integration of cannabis into any lifestyle is both easy and accessible. For more information, visit www.jarscannabis.com.