Ujamaa Place Partners with Black-Owned, Minnesota-Based CBD Brand, Cultivated CBD on Criminal Justice Advocacy and Employment

SAINT PAUL, MN (August 30, 2022) – As of July 1, 2022, products with THC from legally certified hemp can now be manufactured, distributed, and sold in Minnesota, in 5-mg increment edibles and drinks. To sum it up, weed is now legal for recreational use in Minnesota. While many are celebrating this victory, many members of our community are still dealing with the impacts of the criminalization of marijuana.

Fortune Magazine recently reported that, “Legal marijuana sales in the U.S. in 2022 are expected to reach $33 billion…with expected growth to exceed $52 billion in 2026.” In response to these stunning figures, Ujamaa Place CEO Otis Zanders stated, “We cannot sit back and watch a repeat of history, where black and brown men and women are languishing in prison or in society for a crime that is now a legitimate and very lucrative business. The Ujamaa men continue to be barred from participation in thriving economies because of their past. It is cruel and unusual for individuals who have satisfied their conditions of release to continue to be punished.”

The results of a recent survey sent to Ujamaa men revealed that 45% of respondents had a marijuana-related conviction. Marijuana convictions can pose barriers to housing, jobs, and more for the population Ujamaa Place serves, which is why we were delighted to be approached by Founder/CEO of Cultivated CBD, Anthony Newby, about a criminal justice advocacy/employment partnership, that would entail economic opportunities for the Ujamaa men. From this partnership blossomed an opportunity for Ujamaa Place to receive a (5%) portion of proceeds from sales of Bebe Zito’s new THC ice cream, created just in time for the second half of summer. The product dubbed “Pineapple Express” features a pineapple base with salted caramel-soaked pineapple upside-down cake mix- ins, containing 50 milligrams of THC in the form of stone fruit THC gummies by Cultivated CBD. Pints can be purchased at Bebe Zito’s uptown location, 704 W 22nd Street, Minneapolis, MN 55405. You must be 21+ to purchase.

Ujamaa Place is grateful for the compassion and support from businesses like Cultivated CBD and Bebe Zito’s, for recognizing the destruction of poor drug policy on black and brown communities. The damage can never fully be undone, but opportunities like this allow us to help make incremental change in our immediate community. The proceeds going to Ujamaa Place will go directly into a fund to support advocacy for equitable reform, to include exoneration for those currently serving time for marijuana-related convictions, in addition to record expungement.

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