By Bethany Moore, NCIA’s Communications Manager
As the entire world continues to navigate through the devastating COVID-19 pandemic, it can sometimes be difficult to see the silver lining. A beloved public television figure known as Mister Rogers famously told the story of how his mother urged him while watching “scary things in the news,” to “…look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.”
This sentiment rings true for the cannabis industry here in the United States, as cannabis has been declared an “essential business” even during these initial, and most severe, phases of the shutdown. And in recent days and weeks, we are seeing how the cannabis industry itself has stepped up to become “helpers” in various ways, ranging from fundraising efforts to manufacturing hand sanitizer for the community.
As we get through these difficult times together, one day at a time, let’s take a moment to celebrate the efforts of these NCIA members helping to make our world a better place.
Donations Of Supplies And Dollars
Seattle-area company Canna Brand Solutions, a custom packaging supplier and CCEL Vape hardware distributor, has donated 10,000 KN95 masks to local hospitals Providence Everett and Virginia Mason.
They’ve been fortunate to continue serving their adult-use and medical cannabis manufacturing partners who are deemed essential businesses. Through their strong relationships with manufacturers in China, they were able to procure the masks.
Canna Brand Solutions’ CEO Daniel Allen shared, “During this challenging time, we can think of no better way to serve our community than support the people working to keep us safe and healthy.”
Good Chemistry, a Colorado-based dispensary, donated $50,000 and masks. Read more in The Westword.
Kind Colorado is participating in the CDC (Cannabis Doing Good) Gives fundraising campaign.
Cannabis Doing Good (CDG) found nonprofit partners and fellow cannabis collaborators doing incredible work to support the hungry, the unhoused, medical providers caring for our sick, and our frontline workers at dispensaries and restaurants. Together – they created a platform for the cannabis community to contribute.
Many nonprofits are wary to accept cannabis dollars for a host of reasons. However, through relationship development, trust, and transparency, CDG has found 3 community treasures that are willing to work with them. Addressing hunger, Metro Caring, addressing the unhoused, Urban Peak and – one from our very own industry, Friends In Weed, supporting budtenders and the restaurant industry.
CDG Gives: Donations as small as $10 and as large as $5000 are accepted. If this is successful – CDG plans to launch a national campaign so that our sector can contribute on a larger scale. Any amount of participation is welcome.
Leafbuyer, the cannabis technology company, is giving free texting and loyalty to help non-cannabis businesses get back on their feet!
Because marijuana dispensaries have been considered “essential businesses,” some cannabis businesses have not been hit as hard as other small businesses that have had to shut their doors or scale back. Leafbuyer Technologies, Inc., which serves hundreds of dispensaries, is offering up to $750,000 in free texting and loyalty to 500 small businesses in five cities hit hardest by the coronavirus. Learn more.
Switching Gears: Hand Sanitizer
The Galley is Producing Hand Sanitizer
In early April, The Galley of Santa Rosa, California, joined a wave of cannabis companies’ efforts to support the urgent need for supplies brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. Channeling resources at their state-of-the-art manufacturing and production facility, a first run of “Stop & Sanitize” will include 25,000 units for distribution to hospitals, retail shops, grocery, and drug stores. The Galley has been built to FDA and CDPH standards and is capable of meeting high demands in multiple cannabis product categories. Using operational expertise and a cutting edge facility, the company will provide bottles of hand sanitizer to retailers in need.
Annie Holman, CMO of The Galley, shares, “It’s our civic duty to do what we can to save lives. Our “Stop & Sanitize” hand sanitizer is made with great care in a sterilized setting and we want to contribute in some way to help people & our community in this crisis.”
Director of Operations Cheriene Griffith comments on manufacturing practices stating, “We have followed the strict FDA temporary guidelines for this purpose and our plant to ensure the product is safe.”
CGA Packaging of Santa Rosa will provide donations of labels and packaging for the “Stop & Sanitize” product. Wherefour, a local Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) technology company, will donate services to support expedited production.
Anresco Labs began manufacturing ethanol-based hand cleansing solutions.
In light of this terrible outbreak, Anresco is assisting the community through a sister company, Micro-Tracers, developing a capacity to manufacture ethanol-based hand cleansing solutions.
The company’s intention is to donate as much of this material as possible to those most in need. For each bottle purchased, an equivalent bottle will be donated to a non-profit organization.
4Front Ventures is making liquid disinfectant for prisoners in conjunction with the Last Prisoner Project.
New Day Cannabis is using extra ethanol supplies to produce hand sanitizer.
Garden Remedies is producing hand sanitizer for health workers.
Pure Greens is also making hand sanitizer for front-line healthcare workers and charity.
At a time when we need it most, it’s uplifting and encouraging in these dark times to see the cannabis industry stepping up and giving back to a community in need, and these values are part of what our industry represents: Community. Health. Well-being. Innovation. And generosity.
As we come together to solve new problems and face new challenges, we’re also grateful for the various educational blogs and other resources with advice and expertise regarding COVID-19 that NCIA members have contributed during this time.
If you are an NCIA member that has given back to the community in response to the COVID-19 crisis, we want to hear about it! Email me your story at Bethany@TheCannabisIndustry.Org.