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These Social Justice Weed Warriors Are Making a Difference

From fighting hunger to hiring employees with cannabis-related convictions, these entrepreneurs are using cannabis to promote social good.

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This story appears in the December 2018 issue of Green Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

For Matthew Huron, founder and CEO of Good Chemistry dispensaries, giving back has always been entwined with the business of cannabis. His father, who cofounded the company, taught him that. After creating the co-op, Huron and his father would deliver medical marijuana to hospice care facilities and AIDS patients in and around San Francisco -- his father was battling HIV himself. Today Huron continues their work: Good Chemistry delivers cannabis to terminally ill patients and low-­income individuals. 

Huron isn’t alone; the cannabis industry has a unique relationship with social responsibility. Companies aim to give back to their communities through initiatives like fighting hunger and food insecurity, hiring people with cannabis-related criminal records, and helping the homeless. Industry leaders also often share a background in advocacy due to their efforts on legalization. 

Morgan Fox, spokesperson for the National Cannabis Industry Association, says giving back has been a key part of the cannabis industry since legalization started.

Related: Social Responsibility Is the Heart of the Cannabis Business

“For a very long time, cannabis businesses were incorrectly viewed as a negative part of a community,” says Fox, citing people’s fears that dispensaries would drive up crime rates. He says many business owners are now stepping up to prove they want to help, not harm, their communities. 

Fox foresees a prominent part of the cannabis industry continuing to be heavily focused on charitable efforts and giving back to those in need in the coming years. 

“It’s an ingrained part of the culture,” he says. 

Here’s a closer look at four cannabis industry entrepreneurs focused on making a difference.

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