LivWell Cares Distributes 8,000 Ounces to Medical Patients Over the Holidays

In the last two weeks of 2016, LivWell Cares, the philanthropic arm of LivWell Enlightened Health, gave nearly $800,000 worth of cannabidiol (CBD) to members of American Medical Refugees and the CannAbility Foundation, two prominent advocacy groups for medical marijuana patients.

"We want to get the product into the hands of the people who really, really need it going into the holiday season," said Neal Levine, senior vice president of government affairs at LivWell. CannAbility and AMR "work with so many people hand to hand, I couldn't think of anybody [better] to work with to make sure it gets to as many of the right people as possible."

It is illegal under Colorado law for businesses to distribute medicated product for free, so when LivWell introduced the program last month, the company said it would charge qualifying patients one penny for an ounce of cannabis. In exchange for less than $80, the company gave away almost 8,000 ounces to thousands of patients over the holiday season.

"It's part of our company's DNA to give back to our communities," John Lord, owner and CEO of LivWell Enlightened Health, said in a statement explaining the program. "Getting this medicine into the hands of patients who truly need it reminds us all of both the incredible medicinal power of cannabis and the importance of giving, especially at this time of year."

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Kate McKee Simmons interned at the National Catholic Reporter, was a reporter for the New York Post, and spent a brief stint in Israel learning international reporting before writing for Westword.