Marijuana Business Magazine May-June 2020

May-June 2020 | 69 The Commnwealth Dispensary Association (CDA), a cannabis trade group representing Massachusetts dispensary owners, partnered with the Massachusetts Health & Hospital Association (MHA) to produce free hand sanitizer in response to the coronavirus pandemic. CDA President David Torrisi said that because ethanol is one of the main ingredients used in making sanitizer and some cannabis extracts, the group’s 36 members already had most of the materials needed to pivot to sanitizer production. Approximately 60% of CDA members volunteered to collaboratively produce up to 5,000 gallons of sanitizer per week, all of which is being donated to local hospitals. Torrisi did not estimate the cost of the donations, nor did members discuss expense when deciding to respond. However, he said there were no costs beyond supplies, since no conversion of members’ facilities was required. “Businesses rally around their communities in a time of crisis,” Torrisi said. “I don’t think they’re looking at it in terms of the bottom line.” He did acknowledge that the positive media coverage the CDA is receiving might attract members. “It can’t hurt,” he said. MHA is handling transportation and distribution issues as well as the bulk of logistics such as collaboration between the CDA and state pharmacy directors, among other tasks. COMMONWEALTH DISPENSARY ASSOCIATION Headquarters: North Andover, Massachusetts Business Type: Cannabis trade group A GoFundMe campaign that raised more than $3,000 to provide sanitation stations to Sacramento’s homeless population started an initiative that’s now ensuring some of the city’s most densely populated homeless encampments have access to preventative hygiene in the wake of the COVID-19 health crisis. Caity Maple, an advocate for the homeless and vice president of government affairs and compliance for Perfect Union, started the campaign, which raised the funds in only a few days. Perfect Union then matched donations, and Maple collaborated with the Sacramento chapter of the National Union of the Homeless to locate 30 sanitation stations in five or six areas with high levels of homelessness. “From the inception of our company, we’ve offered free services to guests,” said Julie Hagans, Perfect Union’s director of retail experience. “This was an extension of our philosophy.” In terms of benefits to Perfect Union’s own bottom line, Hagans said the opportunity to partner with the city builds trust that might later prove beneficial. Receiving positive press also might boost business, she said, because it helps reduce the stigma associated with cannabis and could influence people who wouldn’t otherwise visit a dispensary to do so. “And maybe,” she said, when they do, “they’ll remember Perfect Union.” PERFECT UNION Headquarters: Sacramento, California Business Type: Cannabis retailer Revolutionary Clinics and other members of the Commonwealth Dispensary Association produced hand sanitizer for Massachusetts hospitals. . Courtesy Photo Perfect Union matched donations to create sanitation stations for the homeless in Sacramento, California. Courtesy Photo