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'Friends In Weed' Looks To Help Budtenders And Local Restaurants Amid COVID-19

Javier Hasse

Friends in Weed (FIW) is a cannabis industry organization founded by four companies — Veritas, Olio, Cookies, and 1906 — to show gratitude to Colorado cannabis workers, while supporting local restaurants.

FIW started as a business-to-business donation vehicle, where wholesalers help the dispensaries that they sell to. It quickly evolved as a result of the overwhelming number of requests from consumers to help as well.

By gathering donations, FIW is able to buy gift cards from local Colorado restaurants that are struggling amid the COVID-19 pandemic, and hand them out as tips to budtenders working during this crisis.

“When COVID-19 hit and cannabis was deemed essential, we knew we had to do something to show our appreciation for the budtenders and other cannabis workers who put their lives on the line to enable access to cannabis for people who need it during this time,” said 1906 Founder and CEO Peter Barsoom. “With my partners and colleagues around Colorado, we were able to quickly develop an initiative that gives back to cannabis essential workers while also supporting local area restaurants who were hardest hit by the pandemic and have already facilitated over $35,000 in donations.”

Rep. Alex Valdez (D-Denver) added that cannabis has been deemed essential in the state of Colorado for patients and customers during the coronavirus crisis.

"What’s notable about the Friends In Weed program is it is an illustration of how the cannabis industry has become an essential part of our local communities,” Valdez said. “Our hard work to create a safe and regulated industry is clearly paying off. We applaud the work that Friends in Weed is doing to support essential workers in the cannabis, hospitality and food service industries. And we are grateful to the participants, not only for staying open and operational during this time, but also for finding creative business solutions to support our constituents who are most in need.” 

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