NBA hall of famer Chris Webber. AP

Retired NBA All-Star and recently announced member of the NBA Hall of Fame, Chris Webber and his non-profit organization Webber Wild Impact Foundation has forged a strategic alliance with the cannabis brand Cookies.

This alliance will have Webber Wild funding education and training for persons of color seeking to break into the overwhelmingly white cannabis sector, thus carving out more careers in that sector for Blacks and other POC.

Chris Webber (center), NBA hall of famer, sports announcer, and former member of the University of Michigan’s “Fab Five,” seen here left to right Jimmy King, Juwan Howard, Webber, Jalen Rose and Ray Jackson in Nov. 1991. AP

Rolling Out reported that through the partnership with Cookies, the companies will leverage their shared resources to establish Cookies U, a high-impact, hands-on educational experience being launched in Humboldt County, California.

Key to this initiative is the fct that Cookies U will recruit students from communities impacted by the War on Drugs and provide a three-month-long intensive and comprehensive educational curriculum to prepare them for a sustainable career in the cannabis industry.

Seeking to help Cookie U students overcome the many traditional financial hurdles that have historically derailed many educational journeys for Blacks, Latinos and individuals from economically challenged and traditionally under-resourced communities, tuition and housing will be covered through the partnership. Moreover, eligible students can receive additional coverage for lost wages, daycare expenses, and other necessities that may otherwise make participation in the program problematic.

“Not only have minorities been excessively punished and incarcerated for cannabis while others profited, but they have had unequal access to education, which perpetuates cycles of low-pay and unemployment. It is crucial that we allow those who have been impacted by the drug war and racism to participate and benefit from the cannabis industry,” Webber said in a statement to Forbes.

“Working with Berner and Cookies allows us to diversify representation within the cannabis industry and provide people from these communities with the tools they need for long-term success,” he added.

Earlier this year, February to be specific, Webber partnered his company, Webber Wellness, with JW Asset Management, LLC, lead by Jason Wild to launch a $100 million private equity cannabis fund that will invest in companies led by entrepreneurs of color pursuing careers in the cannabis sector.

Webber Wellness and JW Asset Management will collaborate to invest in underrepresented entrepreneurs in the cannabis industry and provide them with an ecosystem of business resources that will facilitate research and development, cultivation, retail licensing, distribution, branding and marketing.

Cookies U is another resource to help bring the initiative to fruition and Cookies U participants will be priority hires for the cannabis company once the course is completed. More information can be found at www.impact.cookies.co/cookies-campus.

-BlackPressUSA