WEST LOOP — People with weed-related misdemeanor convictions can start the process to get their records expunged or sealed at a Sunday clinic in the West Loop.
Cannabis retail company Element 7 and the National Diversity and Inclusion Cannabis Alliance (NDICA) are partnering to host the expungement clinic from noon-5 p.m. at Third Wave Coffee, 1035 W. Lake St.
The event aims to remedy housing, employment and voting restrictions as a result of low-level cannabis convictions.
Volunteer attorneys will be on hand to provide free legal advice and begin the record-clearing and expungement process. Attendees must bring their court records to the clinic. Organizers of the event will cover the $150 filing fee for qualified convictions that are processed.
Gabriel Wiesen, CEO at Element 7 Illinois, said criminal justice reform is “really important to the cannabis industry.”
“We should be a force of positive change, giving communities and constituents opportunities to participate meaningfully in the cannabis industry,” Wiesen said in a statement. “This clinic we are running in Chicago is a really important part of that.”
Bonita Money, founder of NDICA, said expungements are a “life-changing” tool.
“This clinic is the first step to moving forward for Illinois residents affected by the War on Drugs,” Money said. There are enormous barriers to entry for folks with felonies seeking employment, housing, student loans, and occupational licensing. These folks are still banned from working in the cannabis industry.”
During the clinic, employers will be on hand to answer questions and interview candidates interested in the licensed cannabis industry.
Registration is required for Sunday’s event. People can register by calling 206-731-9139, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or registering here.
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