About The 1937 Group

Our Mantra

We live good business practices with a priority on equity, inclusion, and social responsibility.

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What We Do

We represent one of a handful of Illinois licensed operators with cannabis cultivation, processing, infusion, transportation and retail dispensary capabilities. 

We are one of the only fully integrated companies that is not currently under the control of a current Illinois operator or multi-state operator (MSO).  

This distinction provides the competitive advantage of being able to create an entity, brands, and products that uniquely represent the consumer-base of Illinois and the broader Midwest region. 

Company Highlights

  • Illinois limited liability companies licensed for Craft Grow, Transport, and Retail

  • The leading social equity and veteran-led organization in Illinois market

  • Team experienced in all aspects of operations with a track-record of success

  • Strong marketing and media coverage – featured in 20+ news publications

  • Cultivation facility is 50,000 sq ft, zoned/permit & designed for 28,000 sq ft canopy

  • Transportation economies of scale through co-location with cultivation facility

  • Dispensary license won in Danville, BLS Region – home of a future casino

  • Initial capital raise of $1M completed within first month of being issued license

  • Internal flagship brands in development and seeking two outside brand partners

Illinois Social Equity Incubator

Leadership Team

Eric Ice-Gipson Chief Integration Officer

Eric Ice-Gipson
Chief Integration Officer

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Eric Ice-Gipson is a United States combat veteran who possesses over 20 of experience within the IT industry. He acquired his Bachelor of Science in Computer Networks and Design from Western Governors University in 2007. Eric Ice-Gipson went on to achieve his Master of Business Administration from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2019 with specialization in Entrepreneurship, Business Predictive Analytics. 


Eric Ice-Gipson has been integral to the IT build-outs of seven (7) of the eight (8) sites at an Illinois Federally Qualified Health Center as well as a major Research and Teaching Hospital’s Adult Emergency Department and Cancer Center. He has implemented technological protocols at all organizational levels, from the C-suite to front-end staff.

Jonathan Valdes Chief Operating Officer

Jonathan Valdes
Chief Operating Officer

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Jonathan Valdes is an owner and operator of two security and locksmithing companies serving the Chicagoland area. He entered the cannabis industry as a licensed cultivation caregiver in Michigan after meeting Ambrose Jackson, while both studying at the University of Illinois-Chicago.


In 2019, adult-use cannabis was legalized in the state of Illinois. Jonathan was connected with Ambrose Jackson, and together they built a team to apply for multiple license types as Social Equity Applicants. Jonathan's management skills, relationship development strengths, and attention to detail paid off, as his group was one of only three groups who won a licenses in three separate categories out of over 7,000 total applicants.

Brandon Van Asten Financial Advisor

Brandon Van Asten
Financial Advisor

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Brandon Van Asten currently serves as the Corporate Controller for a large multi-state cannabis operator. He is a CPA and previously a  consultant to the cannabis industry serving over 400 cannabis license holders with regard to 280E tax, application assistance and outsourced bookkeeping. In this role, he performed financial projections for Applicants across the U.S., was an outsourced CFO to several U.S. cannabis companies, and consulted on cannabis accounting issues, including 280E.

Outside of inventory accounting, he has audited financial statements for cannabis companies in New York, Hawaii, Illinois, and Arizona (states that require audits) as well as several companies that need financial audits for their investors or Canadian parent companies.

Ambrose Jackson Chairman and CEO

Ambrose Jackson
Chairman and CEO

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Prior to launching and gaining licensing for Illinois cannabis companies Parkway Dispensary, Helios Labs and Highwaymen Security, Ambrose Jackson spent 15 years in business management and organizational leadership in the healthcare industry.  The primary functions he was responsible for included Regulatory Compliance, Patient Safety, Quality Improvement, and Consumer Experience.


Ambrose is also a practitioner the Toyota Production System model, having implemented structured management systems for world-class healthcare organizations, leading to effective business management practices, decreased lead times and labor cost, and increased business profitability.

Sonia Antolec General Counsel

Sonia Antolec
General Counsel

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Judge Sonia A. Antolec devotes her career to actively working to remove barriers to justice for marginalized communities and advocates for social equity in everything she does. Judge Antolec is the first single mom and multicultural woman appointed as a Judge to the Illinois Court of Claims when Governor J.B. Pritzker appointed her in March 2021. 


Prior to that, she was the Director of People and Legal for The Mom Project, and she spent 13 years working in government, including two terms in the Cook County State's Attorney's office. In her second term, she was the Director of Legal Hiring and Recruiting. She was also Deputy General Counsel and Chief Administrative Law Judge for Illinois Healthcare and Family Services. She is a 2017 Chicago United for Equity Fellow.

Alex Al-Sabah Chief Strategy Officer

Alex Al-Sabah
Chief Strategy Officer

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Alex Al-Sabah's cannabis experience spans 20 years, beginning as an owner operator under California's Proposition 215.


Alex has assembled an extensive network of colleagues and relationships within the cannabis industry, which will be leveraged to further The 1937 Group's operating and growth  strategies.


 Alex has served as an advisor and investor to several cannabis startups in multiple states across the U.S. and together with his different partners own a collection of 16 licenses spanning 4 states and growing. One of his most notable accomplishments was in 2015 where he was part of one of the first ever Cannabis IPOs, an ancillary company formally known as Kush Bottles, Inc.