EXCLUSIVE: This Legacy Cannabis Company Has The Ear Of Major Weed Operators And Can Help You Get A Job In The Industry

When 40 Tons started up in Dec. 2020, it took off like a bat out of hell due in part to the indomitable energy of its three co-founders, Loriel Alegrete, Anthony Alegrete and Corvain Cooper.

When 40 Tons started up in Dec. 2020, it took off like a bat out of hell due in part to the indomitable energy of its three co-founders, Loriel Alegrete, Anthony Alegrete and Corvain Cooper.

The threesome, with their extraordinary backgrounds and practical business plan, set out to unite the essential sectors of the industry, from legacy operators like themselves to the biggest multi-state operators (MSOs) in the nation under a shared goal: furthering the booming industry while deliberately including those who actually started it and kept it going strong for decades way before the concept of legal weed was even a blip on a blurry screen.

We hear a great deal about expungement and social equity from well-meaning MSOs and states setting up their legal programs to which we all say bravo, good job. But, where and how do those who’ve spent time behind bars get involved in these programs or even hear about them for that matter? 

Enter 40 Tons with their imminently practical approach

“We bridge the gap for BIPOC communities and those with past cannabis convictions,” 40 Tons CEO Loriel Alegrete told a packed room at Benzinga’s Cannabis Capital Conference recently in Chicago. “Our strategic partnerships with Curaleaf, Herbl, Hemper, Good Day Farm, Sunset Connect and about 75 other large brands have allowed us to enter into markets and expand our presence across America where most smaller equity-focused brands have not.”

Loriel talked about one of the company’s most unique programs: 40 Tons Careers and its good old-fashioned job fairs, whose mission is to “close the gap in restorative justice and diversity” in the industry by connecting people with top employers and educational institutions. The cannabis industry, after all, is among the nation’s top employers, according to a recent Leafly (NASDAQ: LFLY) jobs report.  

Not Your Mother’s Job Fair

Anthony Alegrete, 40 Tons operations director, said the job fairs such as a recent one in New Jersey that brought out companies like Curaleaf (OTC:CURLF), Verano (OTC:VRNOF), GTI Grows (OTCQX:GTBIF) (CSE:GTII), Woah Flow and Acreage Holdings (OTCQX:ACRDF), are a new way to market a company – as in their own.

“There is no other brand out there that has products and also their own career conference. This allows us to cross market and promote because most of the people that want to work in this industry are also consumers. And we build a model where when you buy our products, you’re actually contributing to cannabis restorative justice,” Alegrete told Benzinga. “We want to connect with our customers in a different way. It’s not just about buying weed, it’s about buying weed from a company that is giving back directly to its community and making a sustainable positive impact.” 

The job fair in New Jersey was the fourth of its kind, which 40 Tons calls “Canna Get A Second Chance: Cannabis Career Conference.”

Alegrete pointed out that 99% of those working in the industry are employees and although equity and ownership are very important, “we have to focus on the other 99% of people. From C-Suite executives down to the entry-level worker, we have to place our people in these positions, at all levels, to make the change we want to see. Equity is about access, and we must crawl before we walk, walk before we run. In this instance, we have to get someone trained and ready to take on an ownership position. It starts with a career.”

Cannabis Careers And How To Get One

Brandon Mitchell, chief careers officer at 40 Tons has some advice. “When it comes to your career, your resume is your first investment,” says Mitchell who joined 40 Tons because of its leadership team and mission, but also because so many of his friends fell victim to the war on drugs, specifically cannabis. “I wanted to help make a change using technology and combining one’s personal brand to help advance my community.” 

40 Tons’ Against-All-Odds Beginning

Loriel Alegrete began selling apparel and accessories to support cannabis prisoners while her husband Anthony and Corvain Cooper were incarcerated on conspiracy charges for allegedly having sold “40 tons of cannabis,” so said the Dept. of Justice. When Anthony was released in 2015, he and Loriel spoke often with Cooper who was still serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole for a nonviolent cannabis offense. They decided to start a company that would find ways to liberate non-violent pot prisoners and help the formerly incarcerated re-enter society. As part of that effort and with support from many organizations and individuals, Cooper was pardoned by Trump in the last hour of his last day in the White House. 

As 40 Tons functions in a legally compliant fashion, Cooper is able to participate as the company’s chief brand ambassador without risking the conditions of his ten-year parole. 

Some eight months after Cooper was released, 40 Tons held its first cannabis career conference – its most ambitious project yet. But don’t be surprised if they come up with something even more innovative. This 40 Tons threesome (now foursome) is bound for success and they’re taking the cannabis industry with them.

Have a look at 40 Tons’ new awesome video of the August 2022 Trenton, New Jersey Career Conference, exclusively released here on Benzinga.com. 

Photos courtesy of 4 Tons

 

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