With additional states like Illinois legalizing recreational marijuana usage, U.S. multi-state operators are currently on a hiring spree to bring on more rank-and-file employees as well as adding to their senior management pool. 

Today Cresco Labs Inc. (CSE: CL; OTCQX: CRLBF) announced a new addition to the company in the latter category, with former Sears Holding Corporation executive Mo Dastagir taking up the role of Chief Information Officer. 

Dastagir previously oversaw technological infrastructure and programs for Sears Home Services, driving growth for home appliance repair and services.  

Before taking up that position with Sears, he previously worked on digitizing diabetes care for Novartis Pharmaceuticals and Roche Pharmaceuticals, as well as laying the groundwork for Amazon’s operations in India. 

In his current position with Cresco, Dastagir will be responsible for optimizing customer experiences through various tech platforms. 

Rather than departing the company, Cresco’s former CIO Zach Marburger is instead now moving into the newly created role of Entrepreneur in Residence. Chief Executive Officer Charlie Bachtel commented on that change to the company’s upper management structure: 

Zach is a cannabis industry veteran with a broad skill set who will now be responsible for leading a wide array of business initiatives including working with communities and entrepreneurs to help drive employment and business ownership opportunities through our pioneering social equity and educational development (SEED) program.

Cresco launched the SEED program at the end of May, which is aimed at bringing in a more diverse crew of employees who were previously involved in unlicensed cannabis sales before legalization. 

With cannabis now one of the biggest job-creating industries in the United States despite its illegal federal status, Cresco’s SEED initiative has a goal of bringing an additional 20,000 people into the workforce from across all social and racial categories. 

Expunging criminal records will play a critical role in meeting that goal, as many previously unlicensed sellers now find themselves unable to access the industry when states legalize medical or recreational usage. 

Aside from aiding those with previous cannabis records, the SEED program is specifically aimed at helping veterans and people of colour gain employment in the industry, as well as supporting small cannabis businesses in raising capital to get up and running.   

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