During the fires, Sonoma County cannabis firm CannaCraft became hub for relief efforts
Quick to help in any way possible during a crisis, CannaCraft has donated hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of products to fire and flood victims in California since 2016. CannaCraft also opened the office to employees and their families during the 2019 Kincade Fire.
What three events or activities would you like to highlight as examples of ways your company or you have helped or continue to help make things better in the North Bay?
1. Partnerships with and sponsorships of leading nonprofits in Sonoma County to support sustainability, compassionate care, and social justice. Nonprofit partners include Ceres Community project, Food For Thought Food Bank, Daily Acts, Becoming Independent, Go Local and more.
2. Support for the Red Cross during Tubbs and other North Bay fires that year. In October 2017, CannaCraft opened its doors to the Red Cross. Donating unused (and used) office space, kitchen areas, showers, etc to the Red Cross for their regional headquarters. Red Cross volunteers and employees shared space with CannaCraft employees for nearly a month, with several Red Cross affiliates using the office for lodging. CannaCraft's marketing department was home to several cots during this time. During this time CannaCraft also donated nearly $200k in cannabis products to people and business effected by the CA fires.
3. Beautification projects. CannaCraft employees have partnered with the Santa Rosa parks department to organize clean up days at local sites and parks. CannaCraft employees have cleared trees, bushes, weeds etc, painted gazebos and public restrooms, picked up litter, replanted plants, and more. As residents of Sonoma County, many of us born and raised in the area, we take pride in improving our community and making it easier for more people to enjoy the beautiful amenities and scenery that we have."
Q7 What ways does your organization help support the idea of helping others, i.e. days for volunteering, ways to contribute money to causes?
The company actively promotes and encourages employees to take part in volunteer days. Park clean up days are held during regular working hours and employees are paid for their time as if they were completing their regular job. CannaCraft also brings philanthropic opportunities to the workplace. There is almost always a notice of ways to support local non-profits at the reception desk. There was also a food drive collection during the holidays and there is almost always a signup sheet at reception for employees to sign up to support our partners.
How is the idea of helping others or working to solve community issues incorporated your personal life or in the company’s culture?
CannaCraft's spirit of philanthropy is in very large part to our founders. Dennis Hunter, drives most compassionate care and giveback programs. Dennis was the one to offer up office space to Red Cross, he worked to erect temporary housing near CannaCraft's headquarters, he implemented all of the give back programs and is always the busiest worker during volunteer days.
Ned's passion is sustainability. Ned is Core Member at OSC2, a community of sustainable leaders who work together to have a positive effect on the natural products industry and on our environment and he utilizes natural and sustainable cultivation techniques at his numerous cultivation sites throughout California
What inspires your employees about the North Bay spirit of helping others?
We chose our local partners because of our belief that the combination of our efforts would magnify and amplify common goals of helping others. For example Food For Thought Food Bank grew from the desire to help those battling HIV/AIDS in Sonoma County in the 1980’s - the same mission that inspired the medical cannabis community to coalesce and begin the fight for a legitimate and legal way to help provide relief. As recreational cannabis continues to move forward we believe it is also important to keep working on the missions we originated from.
How does your company's philanthropy work spill over into its culture?
As representatives of an emerging market we acknowledge that we have been given a gift in being able to help set a foundational standard for what legalized cannabis will look like in the years to come. By showing up and participating and representing our values in our larger community we often tap into our personal stories to illustrate why cannabis is needed and how cannabis companies can be a valued core member of their local communities.
The conversations around participation and the stigmatization of cannabis often take place around a dinner table, at local communities, open to talking about what we do fosters understanding and builds bridges that can only be done one on one outside of an office building.