Courtesy of Cresco Labs
In January 2021, Michael Thompson was freed from a Michigan state prison after serving 22 years of a 60-year sentence for selling cannabis in the 1990s. In recent years, particularly as the state-legal cannabis space rapidly expanded, Thompson became emblematic of the deep wounds inflicted by prohibition—and the lasting impact of the War on Drugs’ nefarious legacy.
On June 19, the trailer for “The Sentence of Michael Thompson” was released. The documentary covers his story and the broader implications of cannabis reform vis-à-vis the criminal justice system. It was underwritten and supported by Cresco Labs, which is embarking now on its Summer of Social Justice initiative.
Chima Enyia, Cresco’s executive vice president of SEED (the company’s Social Equity, Education, Development initiative), says that Thompson’s story helps illustrate the disconnect between the burgeoning industry and the men and women left behind by prohibition policies.
“From the Cresco brand, centering on Michael Thompson, his story unfortunately is not unique,” he says. “There is much more work that needs to be done. What we’re doing cannot be performative in nature. What we’re doing and what this industry is doing cannot be tokenized. We have an obligation to lead corporate America on these