There is a the spontaneous giving that goes to cannabis patients in need. Did you know that for years, the industry itself has supported their treatment? I understand that profits and tax revenues are exciting, especially since for most, cannabis has remained affordable under legalization; however, a population of patients exists for whom marijuana is either too costly or the dosage too high for them to be able to continue paying for it.
The majority of the philanthropy inside of the cannabis industry still isn’t on record or written off for tax purposes. No one even takes the time for a photo-op. Understand, this is an industry that has existed underground for the last 50 years. Profits couldn’t be claimed, and any publicity was bad publicity, even caring for the sick. Many of the biggest players in the the industry were known simply by aliases or codenames. The inventors of some of the most popular strains you know of at at dispensaries today would have been sent directly to prison if their true identities were revealed. After all, everyone from the old “black market” marijuana business had someone close to them incarcerated.
At the same time, cultivators and producers knew cannabis was a medicine. They were distributing a crop that was helping almost everyone it touched in some way. The herb had often improved their own quality of life, cultivating a pay it forward mentality.
Some pot growers, processors and distributors I know weren’t actually in it for the money, any more than any other tax paying citizen clocking into their nine-to-fives. They took on the risk of prosecution because they knew marijuana was a special plant that could make the world a truly better place. Now that the greater public is recognizing marijuana for the safe, effective medicine that it is, let’s meet some of the cannabis philanthropists and what they do.
Famed Oregon hash-maker Kenrgy’s alias remains an homage to the not so distant past when his craft risked incarceration and real names weren’t revealed. He continues his work today working with a few small farms and shops in Oregon, still choosing to keep his true identity private. Kenrgy has supported underprivileged patients for decades now, providing them with cannabis flowers and hashish, a traditional preparation of the concentrated essential oils. Asked how he chooses patients for donation, he matter-of-factly remarks “I give all the time to the suffering, no questions asked. I try to increase their comfort by giving away what I grow and make. Sometimes I can feel [it], and I move to action.” He has to keep the compassion simple and is much more interested in discussing the details of his cannabinoid preparations than his own do gooding. He gives all of the credit to the plant itself .
Today there are nonprofits established thanks to the ending of prohibition, making cannabis philanthropy legitimate.
Cannabis Companies Getting Veterans Support
An army veteran I met a few years ago had lost his limbs in Iraq. He experienced phantom pain, the sensation of pain in his legs and arms that were no longer there. The pain was beyond excruciating. The only remedy, although temporary, was cannabis oil, 8 grams per day. On the market, 1 gram of RSO oil costs about $50 with tax. That means he needed $400 a day to get by. We all made sure he got the medicine he needed moving forward, but he is just one of who knows how many people in the same boat.
HeroGrown Foundation points to the statistic that out of over 20 million military vets and tens of millions of first responders, more than fifty die every day from suicide and prescription drug overdose. Many of these overdoses stem back to pharmaceuticals that were part of their treatment. HeroGrown supports efforts to make cannabis available to active military and veterans around the country. They also have supplied more than three million dollars in marijuana and CBD products to veterans in need since 2014.
The Veterans Cannabis Project arranges candid, round-table conversations allowing veterans to share their stories with lawmakers, policy influencers and game changers in Washington, DC. Not to be confused, the Veterans Cannabis Group are “a safe educational and family support group for Veterans who use medical Cannabis.” Weed for Warriors and Warfighter Hemp are both companies for veterans by Veterans selling cannabis-based products and putting money directly back into aiding those suffering from PTSD.
Cannabis Non-Profit: The Shelter Project founded by Jetty Extracts
Trieste Lorelli was fighting nonhodkins lymphoma. He found cannabis oil to be a safer alternative to the pharmaceuticals prescribed during treatment. He says, “Anytime I would feel sick or was going to throw up, I would just hit the little pen, like literally a minute to two minutes later I would go from feeling like I was going to die, to feeling at ease... I’m in remission right now.”
Trieste was able to receive the cannabis oil that gave him relief while battling cancer through The Shelter Project founded by Jetty Extracts. Their mission is to supply cannabis to cancer patients who want to use it as a treatment. They provide patients with the supplies to grow their own if they would like and put recipients in touch with health professionals who can help them create effective regimens.
Cannabis Research for Children
The brand CannaKids was inspired by founder Tracy Ryan’s daughter Sophie who battled brain cancer for four years. Because of the success she saw, they partnered with Cure Pharmaceutical in California to fund the next four years of cannabis and cancer research at the Technion Institute in Israel. “It’s not enough that we believe this is working, we need to KNOW that its working and the only route to that answer is research,” Tracy says.
Cannabis Research for Athletes
The Gridiron Cancer Foundation created an educational platform focused on building public awareness concerning the efficacy of medical cannabis as a medicine for athletes. Their focuses “on developing medical research, education, and creating a State of the Art Neurological Research Facility studies combining the latest research and therapeutic tools used in the treatment of CTE, concussions, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, neuropathy, dementia, chronic inflammation, leukemia, brain and other cancers. They have created an educational platform focused on building public awareness concerning the efficacy of medical cannabis as a medicine for athletes.
Cannabis Activism: Promoting
Americans for Safe Access was founded in 2002 by medical cannabis patient Steph Sherer as a vehicle for patients to advocate for the acceptance of cannabis as medicine. With over 100,000 active members in all 50 states, ASA is the largest national member-based organization of patients, medical professionals, scientists and concerned citizens promoting safe and legal access to cannabis for therapeutic use and research. ASA works to overcome political, social and legal barriers by creating policies that improve access to medical marijuana for patients and researchers through legislation, education, litigation, research, grassroots empowerment, advocacy and services for patients, governments, medical professionals, and medical cannabis providers.
The majority of the philanthropy inside of the cannabis industry still isn’t on record or written off for tax purposes. No one even takes the time for a photo-op. Understand, this is an industry that has existed underground for the last 50 years. Profits couldn’t be claimed, and any publicity was bad publicity, even caring for the sick. At the same time, cultivators and producers knew cannabis was a medicine. They were distributing a crop that was helping almost everyone it touched in some way. The herb had often improved their own quality of life, cultivating a pay it forward mentality. Now that the greater public is recognizing marijuana for the safe, effective medicine that it is, let’s not forget about the original cannabis philanthropists.
Imagine doctors who frequently performed expensive surgeries for free or paid for their patient’s medication out of their own pocket. Traditional Drug manufacturers supplying patients with life-saving medicines anonymously and not claiming the tax deduction is hard to fathom, but that is in essence what businesses and owners throughout the cannabis industry have been doing for half a century. It’s , a part of the culture that remains even after hedge funds and corporate America have begun their ‘takeover’.
If you are one of the many new players helping get cannabis into those in need, please comment below. I’d love to connect with you directly.
“About.” Americans for Safe Access, www.safeaccessnow.org/about_asa.
“CBD Oil Hailed A Miracle Drug For Children With Severe Epilepsy.” CBS San Francisco, CBS San Francisco, 7 May 2018, sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2018/05/07/cbd-oil-hailed-miracle-drug-children-severe-epilepsy/.
Capellan, Courtney. “Shelter Project | Jetty Extracts.” YouTube, YouTube, 28 Nov. 2016, www.youtube.com/watch?v=NxIr_y_tNgg.
“ENROLL TODAY!” Jetty Extracts The Shelter Project California Cannabis Extracts Company, jettyshelterproject.com/.
“HeroGrown - Fighting for Our Heroes Right to Choose Cannabis.” HeroGrown.org, herogrown.org/.
“Sophie's Story.” Welcome To CannaKids, cannakids.org/sophies-story/.
“Veterans Cannabis Group.” Veterans Cannabis Group, www.veteranscannabisgroup.com/.