Retired NBA All-Star Chris Webber and his non-profit organization Webber Wild Impact Foundation has forged a strategic alliance with the cannabis brand Cookies. Webber Wild funds education and training for persons of color pursuing careers in the cannabis sector. Through the partnership with Cookies, the companies will leverage their shared resources to establish Cookies U, a high-impact, hands-on educational experience being launched in Humboldt County, California.
Cookies U will recruit students from communities impacted by the War on Drugs and provide a three-month-long intensive and comprehensive educational curriculum to prepare them for a sustainable career in the cannabis industry. Tuition and housing will be covered through the partnership, and eligible students can receive additional coverage for lost wages, daycare expenses, and other necessities that may otherwise make participation in the program problematic.
“Not only have minorities been excessively punished and incarcerated for cannabis while others profited, but they have had unequal access to education, which perpetuates cycles of low-pay and unemployment. It is crucial that we allow those who have been impacted by the drug war and racism to participate and benefit from the cannabis industry,” Webber said in a statement to Forbes.
“Working with Berner and Cookies allows us to diversify representation within the cannabis industry and provide people from these communities with the tools they need for long-term success,” he added.
In February, Webber partnered his company, Webber Wellness, with JW Asset Management, LLC, lead by Jason Wild to launch a $100 million private equity cannabis fund that will invest in companies led by entrepreneurs of color pursuing careers in the cannabis sector.
Webber Wellness and JW Asset Management will collaborate to invest in underrepresented entrepreneurs in the cannabis industry and provide them with an ecosystem of business resources that will facilitate research and development, cultivation, retail licensing, distribution, branding and marketing. Cookies U is another resource to help bring the initiative to fruition and Cookies U participants will be priority hires for the cannabis company once the course is completed. More information can be found at www.impact.cookies.co/cookies-campus.