As the leaders and doers of the world, business owners and entrepreneurs have the unique ability to make positive impacts and influence the community with their brands. While there are a variety of ways in which we can give back to our communities, it can be difficult to know where to start and who to connect with. All across the country there are cannabis businesses both big and small that are making a difference in their own communities and across the world. Through donating money, organizing and sponsoring events and creating unique branded products, cannabis companies are giving back, inspiring and supporting their neighbors.
Sometimes the most direct way to support your local community is to put your money where your mouth is and donate. After all, organizations know exactly where funding is needed, and by donating cash, companies can provide direct support where nonprofits and organizations need it most.
Located in Reno, Nevada, Greenleaf Wellness became involved with cancer awareness and support like no other local dispensary had done before. Last year, the business raised $18,000 for the nonprofit, Moms on the Run, which assists with living expenses for women battling breast and gynecological cancers. It was reported that Greenleaf Wellness was the first local dispensary to donate to a nonprofit organization. In October, it began its second annual month-long campaign to raise funds for the nonprofit.
“Last year, we were beyond proud of our customers and staff for supporting us reach this milestone fundraising goal to assist Moms on the Run,” said Steve Duque, vice president of Greenleaf. “This year, we hope to surpass our goal and donate over $20,000.”
During the month of October, known as Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Greenleaf Wellness donated $2 from every transaction to Moms on the Run. While it’s a simple method of community outreach, the dollars add up considerably. Nonprofit organizations such as Moms on the Run can be found in every city in the country, making options endless for business owners to pick their nonprofit of choice and make a difference.
“Nonprofits, community groups, political advocacy champions, and cannabis sector professionals will have the opportunity to meet, greet, collaborate.”
Event Organization and Sponsorship
Event organization and sponsorship are effective ways to support the local community also demonstrating the positive output of your cannabis business. One great example of this outreach is Cannabis Doing Good. These social events are structured to fundraise while making lasting connections between businesses and the community. These events, set to be held on a quarterly basis, operate to link together leaders in both cannabis industry and nonprofit sector to inspire positive change.
Orchestrated by the individuals at KindColorado, the Cannabis Doing Good project hopes that the collaboration between these groups will give back to the community. The first social held in October donated 10 percent of gross sales to the GES Community Land Trust, a nonprofit organization. “Nonprofits, community groups, political advocacy champions, and cannabis sector professionals will have the opportunity to meet, greet, collaborate,” Courtney Mathis, the founder and president of KindColorado, shared with CULTURE B2B.
Founders Courtney Mathis and Kelly Perez emphasize that their goal is to, “create pathways for communities and businesses to collaborate, for employers and employees to celebrate, and for businesses and customers to participate in community outreach.” Through the events by KindColorado, the cannabis community can find ways to influence and support the economy, public health and contribute to policy development.
The Cannabis Doing Good project in particular combines charitable actions and networking to bring leaders a space to plan and innovate for future endeavors in giving back to the community.
Another cannabis company that supports the community through event sponsorship is Good Chemistry Nurseries. Founded in 2010, Good Chemistry Nurseries views community support as an obligation and has several ties with different organizations that serve in varying sectors. With locations in Nevada, Colorado and Massachusetts, the company makes it a point to be involved wherever they are. The company recently sponsored Gay Ball, a flag football tournament that celebrates the LGBTQ community. Hosted annually, the tournament has grown exponentially in the last 16 years with a total of 24 leagues nationwide.
Good Chemistry Nurseries also provides support to Veterans Community Gardens Program, Ray of Hope Cancer Foundation, Denver Rescue Mission, AIDS Walk Colorado and many others. Whether by providing tools and plants for the Veterans Community Gardens Program or contributing to the needs of the homeless with the Denver Rescue Mission, the company makes a point to be present in its community.
Limited Edition Products to Raise Awareness
Some companies may choose to create and advertise limited edition products to rally spirit and funds for a specific cause, like Green Thumb Industries Inc. (GTI) decided to do. For breast cancer awareness, the company designed the “RHYTHM for a Cause” vaporizer pen. These limited edition vaporizer pens not only give consumers a specially designed product, they allow those consumers to take home something that gives a personal connection to fundraising efforts.
Green Thumb Industries Inc. is a cannabis consumer packaged goods company. This year the company partnered with three breast cancer organizations: METAvivor in Maryland; The Lynn Sage Foundation in Illinois and Living Beyond Breast Cancer in Pennsylvania.
“We believe it’s our duty to raise awareness for how cannabis may temporarily relieve pain, ease nausea and restore appetites for people bravely battling cancer,” GTI Vice President of Investor Relations and Corporate Development Jennifer Dooley said. “Supporting Breast Cancer Awareness Month and partnering with like-minded organizations in our communities to achieve this mission is what this is all about.”
By collaborating with several organizations, GTI reaches a wider audience that allows them to make more connections with various communities. The “RHYTHM for a Cause” pen serves as a physical token of support for cancer awareness that patients and consumers can choose to use to relieve symptoms.