Although some industry promoters would like you to think all cannabis companies are flush with cash, the truth is that we struggle as much, if not more, than any other small business. Cannabis farmers especially.
There are a few easy ways to support for local farmers, letting them know that you appreciate their efforts with your wallet.
Ask for products that are grown locally.
When consumers consistently buy locally-grown products, those dollars would go right back into the community. In Spokane County, there are 172 licensed cannabis farms with plenty of product to stock the area’s 40 retail cannabis stores, top to bottom. Find farms in your county at 502data.com, and request that your favorite local retailer carry locally grown product. In Spokane, New Day Cannabis and Yield Farms are members of The Cannabis Alliance, a statewide non-profit dedicated to the advancement of a vital, ethical and sustainable cannabis industry.
Purchase product that has been tested for pesticides.
Unlike other states with legalized cannabis, Washington State does not require pesticide tests on adult-use/recreational cannabis. Many farms test for pesticides anyway to protect consumer health and safety. Look for the Department of Health “General Use” logo or the “Pesticides Tested with Confidence” logo to know it’s been tested. Only products with this Department of Health logo have been tested to meet state standards; it’s not enough if the package is labeled by the producer as pesticide free.
Support farms with clean, sustainable growing practices.
Clean Green Certification and Certified Kind are private companies that certify organic farms with an additional emphasis on environmental and social responsibility. Cannabis products technically can’t be certified as “USDA organic” because it’s a federal classification, and cannabis isn’t federally recognized. The Washington State Department of Agriculture, with the help of The Cannabis Alliance, is working on developing a Washington organic certification.
Buy more quantity, less single grams.
Washington rules require cannabis to be individually packaged. The Cannabis Alliance is working on solutions to reduce this environmental waste. In the meantime, consumers can help by purchasing product in larger quantities. An ounce, whether in glass or plastic, creates less waste than 28 1-gram Mylar bags. And most quantities are up to half the cost of a single gram when broken down by gram, so you can save the environment and your pocketbook in one fell swoop!
Join The Cannabis Alliance and shop at stores that are members.
Preserving the values we share, encouraging a socially-conscious industry, and fighting the wrongs of the War on Drugs is a huge undertaking, especially as many cannabis licensees are also fighting to keep businesses afloat. Supporting stores who are members means supporting owners who put their money towards social justice causes, like vacating cannabis misdemeanors. You can find a list of members and sign up at thecannabisalliance.us/.
Danielle Rosellison is a mother, advocate and entrepreneur. She owns Trail Blazin’, a Whatcom County cannabis farm, and is president of The Cannabis Alliance.