Dispensary and charity might not be two words you commonly see together, but From the Earth dispensary is trying to change that. Partnering with From the Earth Foundation, this cannabis shop is looking to benefit their community in new and inventive ways. David Moss, Chief Development Officer, has had helping people on his mind since they opened the first location. “It started with From The Earth retail stores. Philanthropy has always been a core value with From the Earth.” David told me earlier this week. “We all felt that if [we had] there was an actual 501 c3 tax exempt charity, we could be a much more powerful force and it would open up more fund-raising opportunities by being able to reach out to our customers, vendors and other corporate entities. While the foundation is just about a year old, we’ve been giving back since the beginning.”
The foundation has an upcoming event. On December 20th, at their flagship From the Earth Long Beach location they will be giving away turkeys and vegetable bags to families in the area who might need a little assistance this year. “There’s a very selfish component to giving back, it simply feels good! I’m a true believer of the idea to ‘give what you need’ and ‘the more you give, the more you get’. To be honest, I think it’s our responsibility to help others that are not as fortunate.” The legal cannabis industry is still relatively young, even in a state like California where it’s been a widely accepted part of the culture for decades. David is astutely aware of this and what it means for the communities the From the Earth stores are a part of. “We are extremely fortunate to be the pioneers carving out a new industry and as a result try to set an example to the world as well as other industries how to make a difference in the communities that we work in and that support us.”
The idea of a dispensary working closely in the community might not be a new one, but David Moss thinks it’s more than important for people to see those in the cannabis industry working to benefit the districts they serve. “I think it’s imperative! We, being a new industry, have the ability and responsibility to make a positive difference in the communities we work in and beyond.” And David has some very meaningful ideas of the change they could inspire and push forward. “For example, justice reform is an area we as an industry can come together and make our voices heard. There is no rational explanation why we’re able to sell cannabis products legally and yet there are still thousands of people that are locked up around this country for cannabis crimes. We can change that and I feel it’s our responsibility to do so. Cannabis has long been looked at in a negative light. By working with our communities, we can change that perspective and help educate people about safe and responsible use. As well as the potential medical benefits, pain relief, stress, anxiety, and better sleep possibilities to name a few.”
This year has been difficult for people all over the country and even the world. At the heart of community is the desire to support and uplift those who are need it and to spread prosperity when one achieves it. Local charities and foundations are the way to go if you want to see a direct impact in your community through a monetary donation. “The best way to get involved is to make a tax-deductible donation online at our website. $5 or $50,000, we’ll make sure it gets to where it will make a difference.” Never has local support for local residents and businesses been more important than in a year like 2020. “It’s amplified the need. We are considered an essential business. We are the lucky ones who are able to operate and run our businesses. I have seen so many people out of work. Struggling for the basic necessities needed for survival, trying to keep food on the table and the lights and water on. It has never been more apparent and more evident that the need to come together and help one another is now! We’re willing to lead the charge and be the example.”
While their Long Beach location took time to open, From the Earth couldn’t be happier to be a part of the Long Beach community. “Long Beach is a great city with lots of opportunity. We cherish the community and will do everything we can to welcome all community members into our store. It took us 3.5 years to build our location and we are grateful it was completed in August of 2020.” David Moss and the team want to do more than just sell you products, they want to change the way people perceive the industry as a whole and maybe even see some opportunities to get involved and make positive change. “I think it’s important for people to understand that we, in the cannabis world are caring, considerate, human beings and we come from all walks of life. I’d like to invite people to stop into one of our locations, speak with our knowledgeable experts and learn about the plant. At the same time, make a donation to our non-profit. I encourage folks to follow us on social media and check out our website to stay current on how you can help, how you can make a donation and what were up to.”
If you would like to get involved with From the Earth Foundation you can do so here and if you or someone you know could benefit from a nice holiday meal you can find more information about the Holiday Turkey Drive-Thru on From the Earth’s Instagram and the flyer below. A love for one’s community and service to those who live in it are essential pieces to a better society. I look forward to seeing the work foundations like this one do and the positive change they can do and inspire.