12 Days of Giving
[dropcap class=”kp-dropcap”]T[/dropcap]he nation’s cannabis industry is a tight-knit one, and it’s in full effect in many states. Various cannabis companies are consistently working together to improve laws, innovate and come together for philanthropic efforts. The industry generates a lot of revenue allowing the profitable companies to use their powers for good and give back from local to global levels. CULTURE highlights several companies for our 12 Days of Giving special that are focused on charity in the cannabis space. Compassion leads to healing, and it’s happening just in time for the holidays.
Bloom Farms, a cannabis- and hemp-derived CBD company, is committed to helping solve the problem of food insecurity in the states that the company operates in, year after year, by partnering with local food banks. Bloom Farms proudly announced in November that it served its two-millionth meal as a direct result of its 1-1 meal program, which launched in December of 2015. For every Bloom Farms product sold, the company donates one meal to a local food bank in California or Nevada. Michael Ray, founder and CEO of Bloom Farms told CULTURE that the 1-1 program is part of the company’s infrastructure. “We are seeing firsthand the lightbulb go off for some people when they realize they can contribute to real change simply through purchasing decisions that have some kind of social giveback, and we think it raises their expectations for what companies across all industries should be doing,” Ray said. Bloom Farms encourages donations to local food banks nationwide. Visit bloomfarms.com to sign up as a volunteer, and purchase Bloom Farms products in stores to contribute to the 1-1 meal program.
Cannabis Doing Good Awards
Other ways the cannabis industry is feeling the effects of do-gooders is by celebrating them in an event that supports even more organizations. The 2019 Cannabis Doing Good Awards was a gala that supported Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains and was a celebration of cannabis companies’ charitable movements. Courtney Mathis, CEO and co-founder of Cannabis Doing Good told CULTURE, “When we set out to create the awards, one of our primary goals was to give consumers, patients and other businesses a way to identify impactful product or partners in our industry. I think we’ve done that and given folks a fun, accessible way to celebrate the good our industry is doing. We are thrilled to have our first-year awards go out to Sana Packaging, Last Prisoner Project and Lightshade. These companies and the people behind them absolutely uphold our core value—that serving people, planet and communities is a privileged opportunity, unique to this industry, to deploy economic, political and social change-making. Businesses for good are no longer the future, they are the right now.” Cannabis Doing Good is inspiring social responsibility in the cannabis industry and encouraging companies to give back. Visit cannabisdoinggood.com to view upcoming events where just your ticket purchase gives back.
“We are seeing firsthand the lightbulb go off for some people when they realize they can contribute to real change simply through purchasing decisions that have some kind of social giveback, and we think it raises their expectations for what companies across all industries should be doing.”
Unfortunately, there is a large population of Individuals Experiencing Homelessness (IEH) in the U.S., but companies like CBD Daily are working hard to provide assistance to those in need. CBD Daily makes a line of CBD-infused body, skin and hair care products, and a portion of the proceeds are donated to the Get Together Foundation (GTF), which provides aid in the forms of housing, food, clothing and music to IEH. CBD Daily is a love child from Earthly Body, which is a parent company to several different brands, all of which donate proceeds to various associated charities. Kevin and Mare Wachs saw a need for naturally-derived products that were safe and effective for everyone to use and also envisioned an opportunity generate funds to help those less fortunate. This led them to create Earthly Body, GTF and CBD Daily. CBD Daily products are made from hemp-based CBD and don’t contain any THC, so they can be purchased online and delivered nationwide. Earthly Body is a company that was designed to give 100 percent of its donations to appropriated charities. Visit cbddailyproducts.com to purchase with the satisfaction of knowing you are supporting people who need help.
Elixinol is a hemp-derived CBD company with a vision to positively give back on a global level by donating a portion of every purchase to a nonprofit organization, giving the buyer the choice of which organization to donate to. When you make an online purchase, you choose from one of the listed nonprofits to benefit from the portion of your sale. Currently on that list are: The Realm of Caring, Wounded Warrior Project, Autism One, Vote Hemp, American Brain Tumor Association and The Cancer Cure Foundation. Elixinol is driven by a team of visionaries who advocate for natural health and believe in teamwork, which makes their dream of giving back work so well. The company’s 7 Pillars of Success guidelines highlight its sincere cause to give back worldwide and promote good health. Nationwide, consumers can give back simply by purchasing products at elixinol.com.
Last Prisoner Project
The Last Prisoner Project (LPP), founded by Harborside’s Steve DeAngelo, is a diversely-run nonprofit organization dedicated to assisting those who have been negatively affected by the “War on Drugs.” The nonprofit group raises money to benefit their efforts. Earlier in 2019, nearly $30,000 was collected to benefit the LPP from a swanky dinner party featuring a famous chef and a few Hollywood names. In addition, the efforts from LPP’s partnership with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) led efforts to create equity and re-introduction into the cannabis industry for those who are low-income, people of color and have had their lives derailed by minor drug charges. LPP and ACLU host forums to educate local townspeople how to restore justice in the cannabis space now that legalization and decriminalizion are sweeping the country causing some crimes to be no longer illegal. In addition to providing education, the LPP is providing assistance with donations to help those affected by the “War on Drugs” get back onto their feet. The LPP took home the Change Maker Award at the 2019 Cannabis Doing Good Awards. Donate at lastprisonerproject.org.
Lightshade, a Colorado dispensary chain, is taking care of those who need a little extra help this holiday season and all year long. For this season of giving “Lightshade [will] sponsor nine families with young children through Colorado Homeless Families and integrate all of our employees in shopping for, wrapping presents and presenting to the recipients,” Lisa Gee, director of marketing and CSR for Lightshade told CULTURE. Lightshade regularly donates clothing, toiletries and food to Aurora’s homeless population, and once a year, the company hosts Aurora Warms the Night, where Lightshade provides a shower trailer complete with actual restrooms. Lightshade collects warm clothing during its The Season of Giving Campaign. Also, when temperatures drop below 20 degrees, Lightshade funds hotel rooms for the homeless. Also noted by Gee are the monthly donations to The Gathering Place, a day shelter for women, children and LGBTQ people in Denver. In 2019, Lightshade provided 3,492 hours of volunteer work, donated more than $120,000 in in-kind donations and nine percent in financial donations. Lightshade won the Good Neighbor Award at the 2019 Cannabis Doing Good Awards. You can support this notable company by simply shopping at its stores and contributing when Lightshade holds food and clothing drives at its various storefronts.
MagicalButter is a DIY-botanical extractor, designed for making cannabis butters or oils right at home. Every year in December, the Florida-based MagicalButter team comes together and chooses a charitable cause for its Cheers to Goodness! program. In 2016, Puerto Rico legalized medical cannabis, which began the uprising of its cannabis industry. In 2017, Hurricane Maria wreaked havoc on the island and destroyed the building of processing facilities, equipment, greenhouses and storefronts. This was a major setback for their medical cannabis patients. For its 2018 Cheers to Goodness! program, MagicalButter chose to show Puerto Rico some love. Garyn Angel, CEO and founder told CULTURE, “As you are well aware, Hurricane Maria ravaged Puerto Rico. MagicalButter couldn’t stand by and watch. We immediately wanted to help and flew down to the island many times in the storm’s aftermath with much-needed supplies. Beyond the basics, [we] donated 420 MagicalButter machines directly to medical cannabis patients. Together we win.” Support MagicalButter’s Cheers to Goodness! program this year by purchasing your own Magical Butter maker at magicalbutter.com.
“[…] We have made an impact by creating bridges of trust between cannabis and non-cannabis organizations, which have been difficult to navigate because not every organization wants to accept cannabis dollars or be associated with cannabis companies.”
It’s no secret that the cannabis industry, like so many others generates a lot of one-time use waste. Contributing to the Earth’s well-being all year long is necessary for a healthy planet. Sana Packaging is dedicated to creating sustainable and compliant packaging for the cannabis industry. Founded by college buddies James Eichner and Ron Basak-Smith, Sana provides an alternative to plastics and a desire to drive business in the U.S. “Localization is incredibly important as our goal is to create cannabis packaging for a circular economy. As we expand globally, our goal will be to localize our supply chains and manufacturing in different regions where we have a strong presence,” Eichner explained. Sana Packaging products are made from U.S. sourced hemp and reclaimed ocean plastics from Oceanworks, a California company that deals in reclaimed and recycled ocean plastics on a global level. Not only does the company care about the environment, it cares about contributing to cannabis advocacy and reform. The National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA) and Students for Sensible Drug Policy benefit from Sana’s donations. Sana won the Love Your Planet award at the 2019 Cannabis Doing Good Awards. Visit sanapackaging.com to learn more about a better alternative to traditional plastic.
The Sublime Foundation
The cannabis industry has an apparent disconnect between people who need cannabis and those are actually able to access it. The Sublime Foundation is a subgroup of Sublime Canna, a cannabis product company in California. The foundation was created to promote philanthropic programs to help medical cannabis patients gain access to the meds they need to feel better. The Sublime Foundation strives to create equity and good health in the cannabis workplace in hopes that those efforts will assist its goals of helping people get back on track, whether it be in the workplace or healing with cannabis. In addition, The Sublime Foundation supports those whose lives have been negatively affected by the “War on Drugs” by encouraging social equality in the workforce. The Sublime Foundation’s vision proudly states, “We envision a cannabis company that promotes the physical, mental and financial well-being of underserved communities worldwide.” Reach out to The Sublime Foundation to donate, or if someone you know could benefit from these services, visit sublimefoundation.com.
Tokeativity® is a nonprofit, global women’s social club that supports a few different women empowerment programs. Founders Lisa Snyder and Samantha Montanaro told CULTURE that Tokeativity® donates to the ACLU, Planned Parenthood, Warrior Sisters and Women Leaders in Cannabis. “We focus on organizations that will have the largest impact on women in our local communities,” the founders said. Tokeativity® also hosts a scholarship program in addition to the retreats it hosts several times a year. “Access and lack of funds is one of the biggest barriers for women to pursue personal and professional growth. The biggest impacts we have seen have been low income and minority women being able to access connections and resources through our Tokeativity® global network. Additionally, we have made an impact by creating bridges of trust between cannabis and non-cannabis organizations, which have been difficult to navigate because not every organization wants to accept cannabis dollars or be associated with cannabis companies,” the founders said. Visit tokeativity.com to acquire more information on how to get involved with the group or start your own chapter.
Veterans For Cannabis
Sick from the prescription meds given for PTSD or pain, U.S. veterans are requesting better access to clean, affordable, medical cannabis. Veterans For Cannabis (VCF) has created a system that benefits veterans’ needs. VFC teamed up with Medical Genomics and Potent LTD to create a three-step approach for cannabis for veterans. The goals are as follows: 1) Consistent, good quality CBD oil with specific dosing guidelines and a way to track progress through the VFC foundation, 2) Working to create consistent, DNA sequenced certified cannabis strains in stores in states with medical cannabis so veterans can be sure they are getting the same exact product every time, and 3) Getting VFC-certified cannabis in dispensaries in states with recreational cannabis that will be sold at a lower cost for veterans. There is an epidemic with the quality of health among veterans in this country. The accidental overdose death rate from prescription drugs is higher in veterans than any other social group, and the VFC’s website reports that 22 veterans die by suicide per day. There are a variety of cannabis for veteran projects circulating the country. Look into how you can assist our nation’s heroes this holiday season by donating at vfcusa.com.
Weed for Good
Weed for Good is a nonprofit organization that contributes its time to helping chronically or terminally ill patients who can’t afford cannabis medication in California. Cannabis products can be pricey, and no matter how much they might improve one’s health, many can’t afford to use them regularly enough to benefit from the relief. Weed for Good provides free or low-cost medical cannabis to those in need with donations from local cannabis companies and business partnerships with local organizations, hospitals and clinics. The organization also relies on cash donations from its community, and it benefits from licensed volunteers donating their time. Head to weedforgood.org to donate, volunteer or request services. Because of current federal laws, Weed For Good can’t offer its services to anyone not in California, but it does run throughout the entire state.