Corporate Social Responsibility and the Colorado Cannabis Community
Being a good neighbor is a lot of work, but we’re up for the challenge.
What does it mean to be a good neighbor? Not in the State Farm “Like a good neighbor,” or Mr. Rogers, “Won’t you be my neighbor?” sense, but as a business, we want to know what it means to be an excellent corporate neighbor – a great community partner?
Good neighbors support the community. They step-in when others won’t – or can’t – and lend a hand. It’s strangers distributing food to other strangers, or a good samaritan who stops to change your flat tire. It’s everyday people performing small actions that hold a broader significance.
And, more importantly, it’s time. Time is the ultimate luxury, and time is always in short supply. An investment of time shows a genuine commitment to the community, and in many ways, time is worth more than dollars (of course, money is helpful, too).
But most people don’t have time to volunteer. That’s where we come in.
Giving back to the community sits at the top of our list of company priorities. It’s up there with providing an excellent customer experience, and showing Coloradoans the benefits of cannabis. As part of our Cannabis Social Responsibility initiative, we are an active participant in the community.
To us, being a good neighbor means acting less like a business and more like an individual, but on a grand scale. Instead of providing one, or even a handful of meals, we can feed hundreds by sending teams of volunteering budtenders (along with front desk staff, inventory control, vendors, and back-office teams) and providing financial support.
Or we can help grow the vegetables that wind up on a needy family’s plate.
“As a Colorado company, Lightshade is committed to providing support to the community in which we live. Through intentional and engaged community investments, volunteer days, and fundraising efforts, we aim to increase the vitality of Colorado’s diverse neighborhoods and expand our industry’s capacity to do good.</p> <p>We don’t just give back, we give forward.”
With the help of KindColorado, we’ve engaged our corporate resources and local retailers to support community projects and non-profits. Lightshade employees have logged more than 200 volunteer hours since 2016. Our focus today is on those experiencing homelessness, hunger relief, and working with seniors and veterans. Also, each of our eight Colorado retail dispensary locations is partnered with community agencies and non-profits to support food-insecure populations.
Colorado is where we live and work, and it’s our responsibility to give back.
Our efforts haven’t gone unnoticed. This month we became the proud recipient of the “Good Neighbor Award” presented by Cannabis Doing Good.
“Boasting an impressive record of 3,492 volunteer hours, and $121,000 of in-kind financial donations, Lightshade is focused on increasing diversity and inclusion and removing barriers to workforce entry by partnering with the Gathering Place (among others).” – Cannabis Doing Good
While it’s vital that our CSR work receives recognition, the real value of this award is the light it shines on cannabis’ potential to do good. Our industry has a big heart and deep pockets, and we’re ready to put both to work.
Still, too many people see corporate social responsibility (CSR) as nothing more than business owners signing checks, or a clever marketing gimmick. That happens, but not in our cannabis community, at least not if we have a say in the matter.
About the Good Neighbor Award (from Cannabis Doing Good):
Community Engagement and social responsibility are the founding values of CDG. We believe cannabis has the opportunity to create political, social and economic benefits for communities, showcasing this industry as an authentic community asset. We want to recognize those companies implementing community engagement programs, encouraging volunteer hours, and meeting community needs in new and thoughtful ways. Are you a cannabis company Mr. Rogers would be proud of?