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  • Christopher Smith, Editor-in-Chief

Cannabis Dispensaries Give Back Big in SoCal

My story today is from an interesting publication that’s new to me called Profiles in Legalization.


Quick backstory: A few weeks ago, I did a story in the State of Cannabis News Hour about a trade group in Michigan that was trying to mandate that all dispensaries do community work. ("Group Urges Cannabis Businesses to Offer Free or Low-Cost Products to Seriously Ill Patients")

In my head I was thinking, "This is something many dispensaries do already but the MANDATE could be really expensive for small shops – they should be able to do whatever they can but not forced to."

All of that was really clear in my mind, but NONE of it came out of my mouth that way, and I got POUNDED by everyone in the room.

Well that was unpleasant, but the dogpile was totally my own fault. I had made a rotten case, and I made it seem like I was going against working in our communities, which is something in which our cannabis community takes great pride.

The irony is that I am working on a consulting project with a big California dispensary with multiple locations and several hundred employees, to advise them on the many ways they can work in their communities. And I’ve written several stories in The American Cannabis Report and Green Entrepreneur about how great cannabis companies are about community work.

Again, all in my head, did not speak those words, kaboom.

So, today I’d like to try again to acknowledge good community work from a dispensary called Haven here in Southern California:


From November 3rd to November 15th Haven held the "Haven Giving Thanks Donation Event" which raised so much money that: Haven donated and volunteered in 3 different events throughout Los Angeles, Long Beach, and San Bernardino.

Haven teamed up with:

  • Southeast Rio Vista YMCA in Maywood

  • 7th Street Grocery Outlet in Long Beach, and

  • DAV Ch. 12 in San Bernardino

More than 40 Haven employees were hands-on serving their community through volunteer work

But wait, there’s more from Haven:

The event is organized by the newly formed charitable arm of HAVEN, called Haven Hearts*, which says that they are not finished helping families this holiday season.

Building on the theme of giving back, Haven Hearts will also be running a Haven Toy Drive and will provide more than 1,000 unopened toys to children this December.

Stop by any of the 6 Haven locations between December 13th and December 22nd to find out more and be a part of the giving this holiday season.


Hopefully this helps clear my Grinchy reputation about community work!

Kidding aside, it’s more important to acknowledge our friends who own and work for dispensaries because they interact with their customers and patients all day long, are remarkably tuned in to helping people in their communities in big ways and small.

The very best of us like Jason Beck and Guy Rocourt and D Sugar Kopplin Easley and countless others whose daily lives and work are rooted in humanity and kindness. It really shows this time of year.

I’m giving thanks to you guys with this story.

("Haven Hearts" has a little branding challenge ahead of them, as there's already a product line with that name... but good intentions will lead to a proper solution, I am sure.)

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