We began working on bud.com in earnest in September 2017. We knew we wanted to launch an online store within the first month of recreational in California, and we knew we wanted our company to be a net contributor to society. We established our company as a California benefit corporation so any future bud.com participants know that’s part of our commitment to our communities.
For our impact with bud.com, we want to focus on three areas: social justice, environmental responsibility, and plant medicine. While we want to find ways to make cash or time contributions, we also want to see how our very business itself could support the growth of these values in recreational cannabis.
There are staggering social justice issues in cannabis. There are communities still being persecuted. There are people who have invested their lives in this plant and have nothing to show for it in the recreational era. I’m not sure what bud.com can do about that yet; for starters we will research and work to build a diverse organization.
I’m personally depressed about disposable glass/metal/plastic carts used for cannabis vape oil. Our drivers seem happy to do some kind of used cannabis product recycling pick-up, but we need to talk to the suppliers to figure out who might take & re-use such things, and if that vape pod pickup can be done with any net carbon/water use efficiency.
Fortunately working within the regulated cannabis industry in California means that many of our partners are beginning to account for water / power / mileage use so that makes some fledgling environmental impact measurement seem possible by the time of our first benefit corp annual report due at the end of this year.
Ultimately, plant medicine is a powerful motivator for us at bud.com. We know people who have had debilitating injury and unbearable pain eased by bud. So we’d like to find ways to promote cannabis as a safe and healthy alternative pain management tool to help with America’s opioid crisis.
Those are the three areas of impact where we are focused as we get started. There are many positive examples of cannabis providers ensuring their profits from this plant go back into their communities. Recreational cannabis should lead with that spirit. bud.com’s “benefit corp” status is a commitment and a challenge to ourselves as we hustle up to get our store online and architect our business.
* note: bud.com is not a certified “b corp” which is another way to designate positive social impact businesses. When we last checked in late 2017, B Corp – the certification agency – does not work with recreational cannabis companies.