Over the past half-dozen years, marijuana dispensaries have gone from worrying about federal raids to being deemed essential businesses by their respective state governments during a nationwide pandemic. The evolution hasn't stopped there, either: Members of the marijuana and hemp industries are stepping up to help
both workers on the front lines and members of the general public affected by coronavirus.
Even Senator Cory Gardner recognized the Colorado cannabis sector's efforts during a speech on the Senate floor in March.
“In a uniquely Colorado way, you have hemp businesses that are now producing cotton swabs for medical needs. You have whiskey distilleries that are producing hand sanitizers for hospitals for home health care,” Gardner said
. “We have protective equipment that’s being donated by the Denver Broncos and by [the] marijuana industry, and by so many other businesses across the state of Colorado who are stepping up in ways that make all of us proud.”
Gardner didn't specify which companies were putting in the extra effort, so we decided to share some of the marijuana and hemp companies providing free and discounted products, employment opportunities and other services for those affected by the pandemic.
Green Dot Labs
This Boulder-based cannabis extractor also grows much of the fine herb used in the extraction process, and now owners Alana and Dave Malone want to give it away. According to the company, "hundreds" of quarter-ounce jars of flower will be donated to those who have been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. Green Dot is taking nominations
through tomorrow, April 8; they're looking for people who've lost their jobs or a loved one to the virus, are risking their own health by going to work, and more.
Terrapin Care Station
Instead of running 4/20 sales and promotions during a statewide order to stay home, Terrapin Care Station has decided to donate funds to a local food bank and start a drive to aid other organizations that are helping the metro area with Kind Colorado
, a charitable and community initiative nonprofit. It's also hiring staffers who were just terminated from the service industry and offering 20 percent off certain products throughout April.
This Denver-area dispensary chain isn't on the list because of customer deals or free products, but rather for how it treats employees. Although considered essential by the State of Colorado, dispensary employees generally earn low wages. To help compensate, Bgood is giving its front-line workers paycheck bonuses during the epidemic, according to company spokesman Graydon Washington.
We'll be spending 4/20 at home this year, so Lightshade is here to provide the entertainment. The dispensary chain's all-day virtual party will feature live performances from around fifteen musicians, including Kid Astronaut and Beat Gypsy, as well as a standup comedy performance and a cannabis-infused cooking demonstration. Sign up at the party's website
for more information.
The Coffee Joint
You can't light up at the Coffee Joint on 4/20 weekend because of citywide orders to stay home, so Denver's only licensed pot lounge is going online instead. "We will have live podcasts with different guests, games and giveaways on Saturday, Sunday and Monday," explains co-owner Rita Tsalyuk, who says all of the fun will be streamed on the Coffee Joint's website
Puff, Pass and Paint
Heidi Keyes usually holds her Puff, Pass and Paint classes in a cannabis-friendly environment, teaching students how to paint landscapes and portraits in person. Although she can't pass at the moment, Keyes is still puffing and painting with students, streaming free classes on Facebook every weekday afternoon.
This cannabis conglomerate began making hand sanitizer at its production facility, handing it out to dispensary customers after purchases. However, Pure Greens went further than that last week, donating enough isopropyl alcohol to a brewery and distillery nearby to make 5,000 bottles of hand sanitizer. The sanitizer was distributed to health-care employees, first responders, essential workers and businesses in Chaffee County.