Cannabis businesses being good citizens amid COVID-19 crisis

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Hand sanitizer was suddenly nowhere to be found as the coronavirus crisis escalated. Cannabis companies around the U.S. took their cue and saw an opportunity to pivot toward making a now-essential product without too much disruption to their manufacturing processes. And businesses didn't stop at hand sanitizer. Companies everywhere sought to give something back to their communities, whether it be food donations or sometimes even making masks and protective equipment for health-care workers on the front lines. (Photo courtesy of Aloha Green Holdings)
California-based cannabis company Jahlibyrd teamed up with spirits producer South Vodka to make and brand bottles of hand sanitizer and also donated masks to health-care workers as well as some of its industrial space for use by local food banks struggling to find suitable storage facilities. "We are just trying to cover this thing on all fronts," said Sky Rutherford, head of construction for Jahlibyrd.
Employees and their families at Platinum, a manufacturer of cannabis products with locations in California and Michigan, put together handmade masks using sewing machines. The masks will be used inside the company to protect employees and some will be donated to local hospital workers.
Platinum employees are also donating face masks, gloves and food for workers and customers at cannabis facilities in California. This image shows employees dropping off burritos for MedMen budtenders. Platinum also has been providing its own employees with food from local restaurants.
Honolulu-based Aloha Green Holdings, which owns cultivation, processing and retail facilities in Hawaii, is producing hand sanitizer for medical patients and local emergency services. The product is free to card-carrying medical marijuana patients at the company’s two dispensaries in the state with more than 3,000 bottles so far given away. In addition, the company has donated in bulk to local hospitals and fire and police services. "Supporting our local community is a foundational goal for our company," Aloha CEO James Lee said. "Our cannabis medicines provide essential relief for so many patients, and we hope patients will continue to feel safe at our dispensaries."
Lowell Herb Co., a Santa Barbara, California-based organic cultivator and cannabis products manufacturer, has donated money to local food banks, including for the homeless in Los Angeles, as well as the Meals on Wheels service for seniors. In addition, the company has donated to the Last Prisoner Project's COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund that is helping those incarcerated for drug offenses to obtain much needed legal advice, pay for phone calls and to obtain medical care amid concerns overcrowded prisons will overwhelm the population during the pandemic. The fund is aiming to raise $20,000 and so far has received approximately $5,000 in donations.

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