For some, the weed industry might seem like an evil scheme trying to capitalize on the downtrodden of America. Yet, this still mostly outlaw trade is, by far, considered one of the most community-conscious business sectors in the United States. Take Bloom Farms, for example. This California marijuana company is giving back to the community by reportedly donating 1 million meals to those less fortunate in the community.
California Marijuana Company Feeds Families
The method behind the company’s outreach program is simple. For every cannabis product purchased, Bloom Farms donates the cash equivalent of one meal to local food banks.
In a statement released earlier today, CEO Michael Ray said, “Donating our one-millionth meal shows that we’re succeeding for our customers, who have purchased one million of our products. [They] appreciate that we are working toward the greater good, and for California’s most vulnerable families who have received the gift of nutritious food.”
However, the company did not originate the “one-for-one” concept. Several other California businesses subscribe to this policy. These companies give away everything from shoes to books based on the one-for-one model.
But, for the folks at Bloom Farms, making sure people have food is a priority.
As it stands, around 20 percent of the children in California are not getting enough nourishment. This is something Ray says he saw a lot of during his formative years.
“I realized there is a high likelihood that my family friends were from food-insecure families,” he said.
In addition to the company’s involvement in the one-for-one program, it also takes care of its employees. Its policy is to reward workers with four hours of paid volunteer time each month. A lot of these folks pitch in to help Bloom Farms bring meals local food banks.
It’s Not Always Easy for a Marijuana Company to Give Back
As strange as it might sound, it can be difficult for marijuana companies to give back to the communities they serve. Despite legalization, some organizations are still scared to accept charity from companies that sell weed. In fact, Bloom Farms was turned down a number of times when it first began participating in the program a few years ago.
“They didn’t say they were philosophically against [cannabis], they just had various board members that were unwilling to accept financial donations from companies like us,” Ray explained. “We’re just trying to make a positive impact on our community. It was relatively shocking to see how difficult that was.”
But all it took was one food bank willing to listen to get the program off the ground. Ray says Bloom found a partner and SF-Marin Food Bank. It was not as closed minded as some of the others.
“I told them my story about how I’d been turned down, and their jaws literally dropped. They were shaking their heads,” Ray said. “They said, ‘this cause is not political, we’re just trying to feed people.’ That was music to my ears.”
Final Hit: How A Marijuana Company Is Giving Back To The Community
Now, other food banks are eager to listen. Some of this change of heart has to do with the state’s newly legal recreational market. What has evolved into a million meals for California families now has the potential to grow into a million more, as long as everyone continues to work together.
It is these types of stories that help eliminate the negative stereotypes and replace the stigma attached to the cannabis plant with hope and goodwill.