Caliva, a vertically integrated cannabis company employing more than 400 people in cultivation, manufacturing and dispensary operations across California, is working to provide career training and mentorship to released prisoners and other people struggling with poverty and homelessness.
The business and partners Chrysalis and Success Centers, both non-profit organizations, have begun to assist recently released prisoners in California to reenter society. The three entities plan to eventually expand their work together to support people who are homeless and have low incomes.
Between March 11 and Nov. 12, 2020, the state of California has released 21,657 people from prison in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.
“When we heard the news that California state prison systems would be releasing hundreds of thousands of people to slow the spread of COVID-19, we knew we had to take action to help make a difference in our community,” Caliva CEO Dennis O’Malley stated in a press release announcing the program. “We’re fortunate enough to be in a position where we were able to hire some candidates already and have been extremely impressed by the talent thus far.”
Working with Chrysalis and Success Centers, Caliva aims to help everyone enter the workforce, according to the press release. However, the release states, “it is necessary to recognize that the War on Drugs has disproportionately affected BIPOC communities.”
Chrysalis helps people who have been through the criminal justice system with “case management and basic needs resources as well as transitional jobs” that will help them rejoin the workforce, Molly Moen, vice president of development and communications at Chrysalis, told Cannabis Business Times and Cannabis Dispensary.
“For those who have been recently released during the pandemic, we have been working collaboratively with our re-entry partners to provide direct assistance to