The year 2020 is coming to an end and a lot of us are saying, “Good riddance,” and “Don’t let the door hit you on the way out!” With so many fundamental changes to life as we knew it, the entire world is looking forward to 2021—with hope.
Some of that hope rests with the U.S. cannabis industry. The new Biden administration is set to take over January 20, and a new start for America looks likely to include legal cannabis—a promising industry that offers thousands of jobs for Americans who really need them. Vice President-elect Kamala Harris is progressive on cannabis and sponsored the MORE Act, which would finally allow legal cannabis businesses to access banks and financial services. That’s a great step forward for the industry and Americans who use cannabis.
But for many, struggles continue and may actually get worse in the aftermath of the pandemic, politics, protests, and natural disasters. Overall, charitable contributions increased 7.5 percent in the first half of 2020—but the need for all forms of relief has skyrocketed. Cannabis businesses and industry members have stepped up to help.
By helping, good Samaritans are doing what they can to shine a light at the end of a yearlong, dark tunnel. And isn’t that what the holidays are really supposed to be about? Especially this week, let’s be thankful, and if you can’t be thankful (understandable this year), then indulge in some of the giving—it’ll inspire hope.
California-based concentrates manufacturer Raw Garden continues to support its local community, where the company’s employees live and work. They partnered with the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County to provide more than 1300 meals to children in need. “The Foodbank of Santa Barbara County is a leading agency to help feed all the needy families of the county, especially those residing in the surrounding communities of Lompoc, Buellton, Santa Maria, and Guadalupe,” the company said.
Vape manufacturer Platinum Vape and its REACT Foundation will host several donation drives throughout the holidays, including food drives at six Kola’s Dispensaries located in Northern California, as well as Platinum’s corporate headquarters in San Diego. The San Diego HQ will also host a blood drive on December 4 from 10 a.m.–4 p.m. PDT. Additional food drives will be held at the company’s Michigan dispensary locations, including Greenstem, Greendoor Alternative, Bloom Ann Arbor, Puff Bay City, Lighthouse, and Amazing Budz. Sales from REACT Foundation branded products contribute year-round to several charitable causes including suicide prevention, veterans support, world hunger, breast cancer awareness, pediatric medical care, and animal rescue.
Benefiting a cause near and dear to many in the industry and consumers, infused pre-roll maker Space Coyote will contribute 100 percent of sales proceeds to Last Prisoner Project (LPP) for each specialty T-shirt sold. “LPP is committed to freeing every last prisoner of the unjust war on drugs, starting with the 40,000 people in prison for cannabis offenses legal in most states. Fellow stoners, we have a moral responsibility to help those imprisoned because of our favorite plant,” Space Coyote said. Each shirt is made in the U.S.A., from sustainable fabric that includes material from six recycled plastic water bottles, and features the company’s coyote logo.
Another cause generating support from the cannabis industry this year is the Wounded Warrior Project (WWP) veterans charity. The organization is dedicated to helping soldiers suffering from the psychological and physical effects of their military service. Canadian multinational cannabis company Canopy Growth ran a donation campaign throughout the month of November, Canada’s Month of Remembrance, honoring the country’s veterans. The campaign—hosted through Canopy’s medical division Spectrum Therapeutics—will benefit mental health services for veterans and first responders.
“We have great admiration for the team at Wounded Warriors Canada who provide critical services to support veterans, first responders, and their families including through the COVID-19 pandemic which has been especially difficult for those suffering from isolation and mental health challenges” said Canopy Growth Chief Advocacy Officer Hilary Black. “During this month of national remembrance, it is our great privilege to support healing through WWC’s national programs in respect of the service and sacrifices of Canada’s veterans and first responders.”