A group of Oregon businesswomen recently attempted to give back to the community by donating a number of Thanksgiving baskets to families in need. However, a state agency quickly rejected the group’s good will because it was associated with the cannabis industry.
According to a report from Oregon Live, Women Leaders in Cannabis prepared Thanksgiving baskets for around 20 families living in the Eugene area. The group then approached the Oregon Department of Human Services for some assistance in distributing the meals. Yet, even though the agency initially accepted the donation, they eventually refused to work with the group because they said it was taking up too much of their time.
However, it was eventually revealed through Gene Evans, a spokesperson at the Department of Human Services, that the refusal of the donation “was related to the fact that it was a marijuana-related business and the discomfort by the DHS office that it would give the appearance of some kind of endorsement.”
Apparently, when the agency sought advice from the Oregon Department of Administrative Services on how to handle the situation, they were advised that it would be inappropriate to engage in such relationships. Their primary concern, according to Evans, was that the Thanksgiving baskets go to families that have been “severely affected by drug and alcohol abuse.”
He went on to say that the agency would have refused the donation even if it had come from a company that produces alcoholic beverages.
Other cannabis-related businesses across the state say they have experienced similar rejections when attempting to donate to organizations that help the less fortunate. And while they appreciate that not everyone accepts the cannabis trade as a legitimate industry, they are concerned that this attitude is preventing some people from getting the help they need.
But this anti-pot opinion is not representative of every group looking to help others during the holiday season. Last year, several marijuana businesses joined forces to supply the Doernbecher Children’s Hospital in Portland with around $4,000 worth of toys. Dispensary owner Matt Price said the hospital “happily accepted the gifts” and “were thankful that somebody went out and did something like this.”
Fortunately, after experiencing some additional rejection, the Women Leaders in Cannabis group reportedly found an organization willing to assist them in delivering their Thanksgiving baskets. Those donations are expected to be in the kitchens of the families who need them by Tuesday.