OAKLAND, Calif. – The cannabis industry has a big heart that shows itself by making community outreach and contributing to those in need. In that spirit, Oakland-based Jetty Extracts has partnered with leading vape manufacturer PAX Labs to launch a summer-long fundraiser benefiting California wildfire relief.
With the Jetty PAX Fire Relief Pod, 100 percent of proceeds raised through the summer will go to benefit those affected by the California wildfires. A report published in July, in journal Earth’s Future said that California wildfires have burned 500 percent more land, due to climate change, so resources are desperately needed.
“There’s no doubt that the new cannabis market is challenging: taxes are incredibly high, regulations are constantly changing and hard to navigate, and there’s still no access to federally-approved banking. The list goes on. But for us, the thought of cutting back on giving back isn’t really an option. We find a way, even if it means being a bit more creative,” Jetty Extracts Chief Executive Officer Ron Gershoni told mgRetailer.
“The Fire Relief PAX pod is a good example,” he continued. “PAX generously donated the hardware (pods) and we donated the oil and labor. We provide them to our retail partners for a nominal amount as required by law ($1), and they in turn sell them to their customers. The full amount of the sale, less tax, is then donated to the California Fire Foundation. The customer gets a great product, as they normally would, and gives back to fire victims.”
Jetty and PAX, both of which have given to various causes over the years, hope the Fire Relief Pod and apparel proceeds will help as many victims in Northern and Southern California as possible, and hope consumers get fired up for the extract’s exclusive Super Lemon Haze sativa strain.
“The California Fire Foundation has done incredible work providing recovery services after the devastation of last year’s tragic wildfires. PAX is proud to work with Jetty and dispensaries across the state to support the tireless efforts of this organization as they work to revive the communities our first responders worked so diligently to protect,” said Cody Haltom, General Manager of West Sales at PAX Labs, in a press release.
“The cannabis community is very closely connected, especially those who have been in the industry well before the recreational market began in 2018,” Gershoni said of the fires’ widespread effects. “Some of our employees, farm partners, retail partners, and friends were directly affected by last year’s fires; it was hard to watch everyone go through the worry and loss these fires caused, and we knew once it was contained and people could assess the damage, we’d need to be right by their side for support, no matter if it was a business partner or a friend. We also knew that the media would move on, but rebuilding was going to take a long time.”
Cannabis businesses often make giving back part of their mission and ethos; perhaps because, when you’re considered quasi-legal, it feels good to help people that face a lot of obstacles, while building new lives.
Gershoni said it feels great to be able to give, especially to medical cannabis patients in need. Patients have benefited from Jetty’s nonprofit Shelter Project, which charts and researches medicinal uses of cannabis extracts with patients, while offering them free medication. The program is limited to the San Francisco area for now.
“Simply put, the benefit for Jetty is helping people. When we started Shelter Project in 2014, we were barely able to keep the business going. Giving away our products for free was probably not the best idea from a business perspective. But we knew cannabis could help patients—our products, in particular, because we could eliminate additives that other companies were using,” Gershoni explained.
“It was the patients who fought so hard to create the medical market and, eventually, the recreational market. We felt an obligation to honor them, and not forget the people who helped pave the way for companies like us,” he added.
“Today, we’re leading the fight to maintain our ability to give free cannabis to patients. An unintended consequence of California legalizing cannabis in 2018 was that it’s nearly impossible to give free products to patients,” Geshoni noted. “Proposed legislation SB 34 aims to change that. We’re embarking on a statewide tour with our partner, PAX, to build support for the bill and encourage Gov. Newsom to sign it.”
So many in need, and so many wrongs that need to be righted; Jetty has also made a commitment to stepping up in areas that directly impact allowing equity access for individuals and groups adversely affected by the War on Drugs.
“We’re huge supporters of the Oakland Equity Program, providing mentorship and dedicated space in our headquarters for minority-run cannabis businesses,” Gershoni added proudly. “We’re also out in the community on a regular basis, running beach cleanups, food/clothing drives, and supporting various Pride causes and events.”