Though surely on the rise since the tech and start-up world took over Silicon Valley and other major cities like SF, Santa Monica and NY, purpose-driven businesses are nothing new. Some say that with the rise of the information economy, which drove massive economic and social growth across the globe, a more purpose-driven roadmap for companies and organizations alike has emerged. Businesses in the cannabis industry are doing good with purpose driven missions.
What is a Purpose-Driven Business?
According to top customer resource management company, SalesForce, “a purpose-driven business stands for and takes action on something bigger than its products and services”.
Entrepreneur and author, Aaron Hurst says that, “purpose is the new driver of the American economy” and that “value lies in establishing purpose for employees and customers through serving needs greater than their own, enabling personal growth and building community”.
Purpose-Driven Cannabis Brands
If we’ve learned anything since legalization measures swept the nation, it’s that not all cannabis brands are created equal. WE did some digging and the below cannabis brands doing good and putting people over profit in their effort to be a purpose-driven cannabis company.
Besito is a womxn founded and queer-led cannabis company based in LA that’s all about helping you get that fun, “uplifting high for any occasion”. Besito has a mission to make premium weed products and a space for women, BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ community within the industry.
In September of 2019, Besito launched a partnership with Equity First Alliance and produced a short film titled, A Record Shouldn’t Last a Lifetime. Further, Besito commits 1% of all profits to support EFA’s mission for automated expungement and easily accessible health, employment and legal resources needed to repair the harm caused by the War on Drugs.
“It’s critical that the legal cannabis industry acknowledges the racist history and criminalization of this plant which has disproportionately affected communities of color. I believe it’s on us to help repair the harms caused by the War on Drugs and to build an equitable industry. Knowing and supporting the Black and queer led equity organizations that have been leading this work is a good place to start”, Founder and CEO, Maggie Conners told CannaCon.
Named for the late Charlotte Figi, the Stanley Brothers launched their flagship CBD strain, “Charlotte’s Web” in 2011 after realizing that their proprietary hemp formula helped then 5-year-old Charlotte with a rare form of epilepsy called Dravet’s Syndrome. The world, still rooted deeply in propaganda and stigma at the time, needed a reason to believe in the medicinal benefits of the cannabis plant and Charlotte Figi became their reason.
Since her premature death at the tender age of 13, the Stanley Brothers have renewed their commitment towards operating purpose-driven cannabis brands and continue to give their products away. The Stanley Brothers’ latest collaboration was with the non-profit organization, Leaf411, where their “Covid Relief Program ” got $100,00k of their newest brand, ReCreate into the hands of patients and consumers who otherwise wouldn’t have access to medicine.
House of brands, Cresco Labs, got it right when they scooped up one of PepsiCo.’s top marketing executives, Corey Rothschild. “I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to be at the foundation of building the scaled, trusted brands that will welcome consumers and patients to the new world of cannabis for years to come”, he said in a late-2019 interview with ForceBrands. This newer, purpose-driven world of cannabis includes the launch of a Social Equity and Education Development, SEED, initiative designed to “ensure that all members of our society have the skills, knowledge and opportunity to work in and own businesses in this industry”.
Through collaborations with universities and by working with local agencies and community organizations to sponsor expungement events, the “SEED initiative consists of impactful programs and actionable solutions-based approaches” that can make the cannabis industry more inclusive and purpose-driven. Further, by committing to allocate 5,00 working hours from employees to community projects to fight systemic-racism, a problem deeply rooted within cannabis, Cresco Labs seems like a great model for larger, corporate purpose-driven cannabis.
First medicinal, then recreational, SoCal-based Ocean Cannabis was founded by Mary and Patrick Ersig in 2013 as an “always conscious cannabis” brand. What began as a young couple leaving the Midwest to run a homeless shelter in Los Angeles’s famed Skid Row, evolved into a brand committed to ending the cannabis’ plastic problem.
By sourcing their packaging from 100% reclaimed and recycled ocean plastic, each purchase of an Ocean Cannabis product recovers the “equivalent of 15 straws or one water bottle’s worth of reclaimed plastic from our oceans” with an ultimate goal to “remove over 10 tons of plastic from the ocean this year”. Ocean Cannabis Company intends to “smoke the ocean clean, one joint at a time.”
Bloom Farms has a mission to “provide millions of people a life full of relaxation, relief, creativity, and fun.” A self-described “socially responsible cannabis company”, Bloom Farms says that social good is “fundamental” to their mission. This is evident by their commitment to ending food insecurity through their 1 to 1 program which has provided over 2 million meals to those in need.
Further, Bloom Farms “gave their team paid time off to participate in the Black Lives Matter movement individually” according to The Accountability List, by CannaClusive.
CannaCon provides a space for companies in the cannabis industry, including those that are purpose-driven. We like to focus on cannabis doing good and part of that is providing a space for businesses to thrive. To learn more about our purpose, click here.