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Thursday June 6, 2024
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM

Still I Rise is designed to provide wraparound services and free cannabis education certificates to individuals with violence involvement and who have cannabis records. Participants in this program will have the opportunity to take part in experiential events, receive hands-on training, and earn a certificate in Dispensary Operations.

Application Deadline: June 6, 2024

This program was made available through a Violence Prevention grant from the Chicago Mayor’s Office using cannabis tax revenue.

The Cannabis Dispensary Operations Certificate prepares students to work in a licensed cannabis dispensary and introduces students to the basics of legally dispensing cannabis in a licensed setting.  

Students will:

  • Gain an understanding of the legal environment of dispensary operations in alignment with state and federal laws that regulate cannabis distribution to clients.
  • Acquire skills to interact with and educate cannabis clients in a regulated environment, as well as obtain the foundational knowledge to pursue additional careers in the cannabis industry.

Course runs from June – December. 

Classes will be provided by Olive-Harvey College and are offered in an asynchronous learning mode. Asynchronous learning, characterized by flexibility and self-paced study from your home or wherever you choose to study. 

  • Weekly 1 day study sessions are mandatory
  • Bi-weekly workshops will be required- via Zoom and In-person

All participants will receive:

  • Free tuition for Basic Certificate in Dispensary Operations (16-credits)
  • $400 a month stipend
  • Laptop rental
  • Access to all Olive-Harvey College campus resources: Click Here
  • Career and personal development workshops
  • Internship opportunities

Target Population: Individuals with violence involvement who have cannabis records.


  • Must have a cannabis-related charge on criminal record
  • Be at highest risk of violence as defined below
  • There is no age restriction or gender or racial limitation for participation.
  • Definition of “highest risk of violence”: To qualify as highest risk, participants are required to meet A or B and at least one of C, D, E or F. Either A or B must be verifiable through institutional records or persons familiar with community and ongoing violence dynamics.

A: Active street involvement

  • In actively violent group (e.g. gang/group/clique) [OR]
  • Reputation or key role in group (influencer) [OR]
  • Family history of activity in violent group

B: Historical justice-system involvement

  • Recently released from jail/prison/other detention facility [OR]
  • Multiple prior arrests, charges, or convictions for violent felonies

C: Previous victimization

  • Recent victim of violence [OR]
  • Family/friend of recent victim of violence

D: Violent online behavior

  • Aggressive or violent online behaviors such as instigating or threatening violence or accepting credit for violence

E: Symptoms of trauma

  • Response to a trauma screening or assessment

F: Disconnected from school

  • Chronically absent from school and/or in the process of disengaging

Please complete the application by Clicking Here

Contact Dean Easter at or 773-291-6245.