The Weldon Project surrounds Weldon Angelos, a former inmate sentenced to 55 years in prison for a nonviolent cannabis offense. Project Mission Green, an initiative of The Weldon Project, has partnered with KushCo holdings to spread further awareness about prisoners who are being held for nonviolent cannabis offenses. KushCo Holdings is an ancillary cannabis business that sells packaging, containers, and other products for cannabis businesses to use. Their partnership is symbolic of the fact that the fight to reform cannabis policy is everyone’s fight, especially those brands who are operating legally. Those in the legal cannabis industry should never forget that the very thing they make a living from, sent many just like us to prison. It should be a mission in all of our minds to fight for those who are locked up for nonviolent cannabis offenses.
In 2003, Weldon Angelos was quickly rising to the top. He was just 23, and an upcoming music producer/recording artist who worked closely with people like Tupac Shakur and Snoop Dog’s recording group. Angelos was selling cannabis to help pay his bills until his music career stabilized, that partnered with his close affiliation to the “gangsta rap” music industry apparently made him an easy target. The Nation said Angelos’ case “reeked of entrapment.” Even Judge Cassell, who was forced to sentence Angelos, called the sentence “cruel, unjust, and even irrational.” Judge Casell even resigned from his life-time appointment to the federal bench to advocate for Angelos’ release.
Angelos quickly became a bi-partisan symbol for social justice reform. He visited The White House this year and hand delivered a letter to Trump’s staff, and garnered the support of far right figures like billionaire Charles Koch and Republican Senator Mike Lee of Utah. The advocacy for Angelos from both sides of the political spectrum ultimately led to Angelos’ release, who only served 13 of his 55 years. Even though Angelos only served 13 years, this is time he will never get back because of a nonviolent, first time cannabis offense. Angelos’ story is evident that change is needed, and his experience allowed him to create The Weldon Project, an organization that funds social change and financial aid to those who are in prison for nonviolent cannabis offenses.
Project Mission Green focuses on raising the bar for social justice, awareness, and social equity. Project Mission Green provides a unique way for cannabis businesses and consumers alike to get involved with a nationwide campaign that is designed to provide relief to those who have been unnecessarily hurt by prohibition. Project Mission Green will help inmates while they are in prison, as well as help them to rehabilitate and have an exit plan upon release.
Under the newly announced partnership between the two organizations, both parties will work together to raise awareness, as well as support, Project Mission Green. This includes efforts to co-market, as well as KushCo’s commitment to donate up to 50% of the proceeds on select products to Mission Green. This partnership reflects KushCo’s commitment to abolishing the War on Drugs, as well as helping those who have been directly impacted by it.
Leading up to KushCo and Mission Green’s partnership, KushCo Holdings was a vital supporter of REEForm Cannabis, a social equity-focused company that was founded by Angelos. They offer cannabis products in select stores, as well as some merch. KushCo provided REEForm with preferred pricing and credit terms to purchase high-quality packaging, papers, and supplies, which ultimately helped lead to the brand’s accelerated growth.
“We have always made it a priority to support our community, industry, and people, knowing full well that that there is a tremendous amount of work that still needs to be done to rectify the social injustices that have destroyed the lives of many,” said Nick Kovacevich, KushCo’s Co-founder, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman. “We immediately were drawn and hurt by Weldon’s tragic story of serving 13 years in prison for a low-level, first-time cannabis-related offense. But more than that, we knew that we could make a meaningful and lasting difference to right these wrongs, starting by supporting Mission Green’s unique purpose and team, which is made up of people who have been personally impacted by the justice system and have lived through the issues that came with it. We will not stop in this endeavor until we can ensure the safe release of many more vulnerable, at-risk incarcerated individuals from prison, and we are proud to have Mission Green as our partner in this essential cause.”
Angelos added: “While cannabis legalization has provided an opportunity for many to enrich themselves, those reaping the profits from the legal industry cannot forget those who have paid the ultimate price and whose suffering enabled them to be successful. KushCo is one of the few companies in our industry that truly understands that, and has never hesitated to support the cause, starting from the industry’s early days up until now. Given their stellar reputation for quality, breadth of products, and a deep and loyal customer network, we realized early on that KushCo is the ideal partner for Mission Green. More importantly, it has been obvious to us during this entire process, starting with KushCo’s first involvement with REEForm, that the people there, from the leadership on down, are truly committed to working towards clemency and criminal justice reform. It’s personal to them in the same way it’s personal to us, and we are thrilled to join forces, especially at this critical time where more new states are legalizing medical and/or adult recreational use cannabis, leaving many victims of the War on Drugs severely disadvantaged.”