To help fight the economic damage from the COVID-19, or coronavirus, crisis, a coalition of cannabis brands based in Colorado has formed Friends in Weed, a group set up specifically to help the service industry in Colorado.
Founded on March 18 by several cannabis brands that wanted to get active and do something to help, Friends in Weed seeks to provide ongoing support to members of both the cannabis and service industries. The group includes twelve partners so far, and hopes to expand.
Over 420 Weekend, they launched a four-day initiative called 420Help which asked the industry and consumers to turn the holiday into a day to help out Coloradans by giving money to benefit the governor’s Colorado COVID Relief Fund. The fund gives money to first responders, healthcare professionals, educators, and other community members in need.
“420Help challenged every cannabis consumer and fan to make a donation of $4.20 and challenged cannabis businesses and coalitions to donate at least $420, or 4.2 percent of sales,” their press release explains.
“The cannabis community has always been about sharing and connection, and so when we saw COVID’s economic impact on our budtenders, who are so crucial to getting people the cannabis they need, and how badly the restaurant industry was suffering, we felt like we had to do something,” said Heather Larimer, chief marketing officer of 1906, a Colorado-based edibles company. “We started Friends in Weed to give some economic relief and some community love to both of these critical parts of the service industry.”
This year’s 420 Week may be behind us, but the COVID-19 crisis still isn’t, so Friends in Weed is still fighting to give back. They’re helping out essential workers by purchasing gift cards from local restaurants and giving them as tips to budtenders. That way, the budtenders get a meal, and local businesses get a boost.
While recent events are tough on everyone, including those in the cannabis industry, businesses are still finding a way to give back with the money the industry generates.