Cannabis companies respond to their communities and the industry amid the Coronavirus pandemic

The cannabis community has always been committed to the greater good.

As the COVID-19 pandemic grips the nation, dispensaries, cultivators, and producers have been doing everything in their power to ensure safe access during these troubling times. Many are also going above and beyond to help others directly impacted by this crisis.

In this month’s “Industry Lens,” we will explore the ways in which the cannabis industry is giving back amidst an unprecedented time in our history. From discounts to those overwhelmed economically to distribution of hand sanitizer to healthcare workers, the weed business is showing up in a big way.

“It is our civic duty.”

Some companies within the cannabis space are opting to donate supplies critically needed by both healthcare workers and the general public. Carl Saling, founder and CEO of Hollister Cannabis Company, ordered 1,000 N95 masks to distribute at healthcare facilities while also making hand sanitizer for the local food banks.

The team at Moxie, whose products can be found in over 350 dispensaries in seven states, are also formulating hand sanitizer. They intend to pass out bottles to each customer who orders home delivery as well as the community at-large.

“When our society goes through difficult times, we see people and organizations stand up and come together to weather the storm,” explained Tessa Adams, Moxie’s head of marketing. “We believe it is our civic duty to be a part of that group and contribute in any way we possibly can.”

Denise Biderman, co-founder and CEO of cannabis industry consulting platform Mary’s List, recently lost an aunt to COVID-19. Knowing she had to do more, the New York native founded Band(age) Together, a free online marketplace to list and share medical supplies such as surgical masks, rubber gloves, and hospital gowns.

“We just couldn’t sit by and watch hospitals, emergency medical workers, and first responders continue to be left defenseless without the proper personal protective equipment (PPE) to fight on the front lines,” Biderman told SWEET JANE. We saw request after request for supplies on social media but no centralized place to find everything. So we decided to do it ourselves!”

A friend in need …

The coronavirus has crippled various sectors of the economy, but many canna-businesses want to ensure consumers facing a suddenly tighter budget can still obtain the products they need. Order discounts, the elimination of minimum delivery totals, and waived shipping are just a few of the ways retailers and growers are helping people who may be struggling.

“The Bay Area has been one of the hardest hit communities, so we immediately expanded our discounts and BOGO sales to help those in need,” said Dani Walton, co-founder and chief marketing officer of NxtLvl, an Oakland-based cannabis-delivery service. She added that drivers are sanitizing their vehicles after every order and encouraging customers to pay digitally to minimize contact.

Bluebird Botanicals, a leading distributor of high quality hemp CBD extracts, is expanding their financial assistance program to include people experiencing hardships during the pandemic equating to a 30% discount on non-wholesale orders.

”In these times of stress and uncertainty, it’s more critical than ever that we continue to support our communities,” said Michael Harinen, chief brand officer of Bluebird Botanicals. “We are offering this temporary assistance to all who have been severely impacted by COVID-19 so that everyone may continue to receive the care that they need.”

When life hands you lemons …

Due to social distancing nearly across the globe, gatherings of more than a few people are essentially outlawed for the foreseeable future, events and conferences that are the cornerstone of the cannabis industry have been forced to postpone, cancel, or go digital. 

Eventhi, an industry-specific event marketing platform, understands the need for people to stay engaged during this period of isolation. On April 11th, the company is hosting “HiDay,” which aims to be the largest online cannabis gathering in history. Featuring 24 hours of continuous canna-friendly content from around the world, HiDay is a chance for people to connect while making a difference (a portion of proceeds will benefit the non-profit No Kid Hungry).

“With the help of our audience, this event will allow for us to make a huge impact together,” said Ali Fakhri, CEO of EventHi.

How can you help? 

Consumers can begin by following the CDC guidelines to social distance yourself, stay home if possible, frequently wash hands for at least 20 seconds, and stay calm. 

If you live in a state where adult-use cannabis is legal, continue to support your local stores. If you do not live in a recreational state but are seeking relief, explore quality, vetted and tested CBD products to help you maintain. We like to recommend Moon Mother Hemp Company, Grön, and Papa & Barkley (and they all ship nationwide!).

Keep calm and smoke on!