Our commitment to social justice reform within the cannabis industry
Across the United States, the communities most impacted by cannabis criminalization have predominantly been communities of color.
We are committed to using our influence and resources to help drive criminal justice reform related to cannabis prohibition and to make a positive difference for those individuals and communities who have been adversely affected by unjust cannabis laws. Our Hawthorne Social Justice Fund provides grants to organizations addressing the problems caused by the disproportionate number of cannabis-related arrests and incarcerations involving persons of color. It also supports job creation, entrepreneurship and increased investment opportunities in minority communities.
Last Prisoner Project helped advocate for Michael Thompson's release from prison in Michigan after 25 years for 3 lbs. of cannabis.
Congressional Black Caucus Foundation
Since its establishment in 1976, the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation (CBCF) has made significant progress in its efforts to develop leaders, inform public policy and educate the public. The Congressional Black Caucus Foundation launched the John R. Lewis Social Justice Fellowship in 2020 in response to the protests of police killings of unarmed Black Americans and the historically unlevel playing field for minorities. It’s mission is to combat systemic injustice and advance racial equity, human rights, education, and community and economic development opportunities for the Black community.
“We’re delighted to partner with the Hawthorne Social Justice Fund in support of the John R. Lewis Social Justice Fellowship as we cultivate and equip early-career policy professionals and create a pipeline of young Black leaders.”
– Paul Dumars, Co-interim President and CEO, CFO and COO, Congressional Black Caucus Foundation
Last Prisoner Project
Last Prisoner Project is dedicated to cannabis criminal justice reform, working to release people with low-level cannabis convictions from prison in states where it is now legal and provide pathways to employment.
"Last Prisoner Project is incredibly grateful for the generous support of Hawthorne Social Justice Fund [provided through The Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation]. Our organization was founded on the belief that anybody able to profit from the legalization of cannabis should feel a moral imperative to work to release and rebuild the lives of those who have suffered from the criminalization of cannabis. We appreciate [the Fund] stepping up to be a part of the solution."
– Mary Bailey, Managing Director, Last Prisoner Project
NuLeaf Project is working to build intergenerational wealth via the legal cannabis industry for the communities disproportionately harmed by cannabis criminalization–including Black and Brown communities. Hawthorne is a corporate sponsor for the Nu School Accelerator Program, which offers financial support and technical expertise on cannabis startup financing and operating an ancillary business.
“How you show up matters. The Hawthorne Social Justice Fund and The Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation exemplify how big brands can make meaningful social justice impact in cannabis. The resources they’ve brought to the table, funding and thought leadership, greatly increase our successes helping Black and brown entrepreneurs overcome inequities and build thriving cannabis businesses.”
– Jeannette Ward Horton, Executive Director, NuLeaf Project
Minorities for Medical Marijuana
Minorities for Medical Marijuana provides advocacy, outreach, research, and training as it relates to the business, social reform, public policy, and health and wellness in the cannabis industry. Its Project Clean Slate program offers expungement clinics and wraparound services nationwide for those affected by past marijuana possession charges, while Project Safe Access NV assists members of the Latino community in accessing medical marijuana.
“The impact of social injustices go beyond the individual and impact entire families and communities. Therefore, it will take organizations like ours coming together to restore the community,” says Roz McCarthy, Founder, Minorities for Medical Marijuana. “This partnership helps us expand the work of Project Clean Slate.”Learn more about Minorities for Medical Marijuana
Marijuana Policy Project Foundation
Marijuana Policy Project Foundation is a racial justice and social equity project seeking to elevate cannabis reform as a civil rights issue at the national level and increase diverse representation within the legal cannabis industry.
“MPP is proud to be a partner of the Hawthorne Social Justice Fund [provided through The Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation]. As legalization continues to gain traction across the country, MPP believes it is crucial to advocate for policies that promote inclusion, equity, and justice both in legislation and in the cannabis industry. Hawthorne's commitment to advancing reforms needed to create a more just and equitable industry is commendable and we look forward to the work that will be accomplished through this partnership."
- Steven Hawkins, Executive Director, Marijuana Policy Project
United Returning Citizens
United Returning Citizens focuses on workforce development, helping people with cannabis convictions in a high-unemployment area (Youngstown, Ohio) find employment and start businesses in hemp, indoor cultivation and legal cannabis cultivation.
“The organization has one objective: to build a community of Returning Citizens that will implement change in their lives, households, and communities. Through URC Grows, URC seeks to break down the barriers faced by these formerly incarcerated individuals interested in entering the emerging cannabis industry.”
– Dionne Dowdy, Executive Director, United Returning Citizens
Hawthorne Social Justice Fund
Learn more about The Hawthorne Social Justice Fund within The Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation.