grow sci·ences stim·u·lus
/’ɡrō ˈsīənsəz stimyələs/
noun: grow sciences stimulus; plural noun: grow sciences stimuli
- A gesture of goodwill in the form of a free bag of cannabis.
It’s in our company’s DNA to pay it forward, and many in the Arizona cannabis community have been wonderfully supportive of our company and helped us grow since 2017.
In the middle of March as the quarantine directives began around the country, it was clear there was going to be some economic fallout and hard times for many. When the government stimulus was announced, we decided to announce a cannabis stimulus of our own, targeted at those who were already being impacted, and as a gesture of goodwill.
We weren’t sure if our idea would get traction, but we decided to post the following message to Instagram and find out:
The response was overwhelming. Within minutes we began receiving emails with personal stories from all walks of life who were already under pressure. Individuals, couples, many with children, who had lost hours or lost jobs. Some are taking care of other loved ones and even living with them, refraining from normal activities like many of us are so they can avoid compromising their family.
Over the course of 48 hours we collected info from 395 patients who ultimately received a stimulus package. The package wasn’t overwhelming – a quarter ounce of flower with some stickers. It came with a smile from the incredibly supportive staff at Local Joint, Health for Life McDowell, and The Holistic Center, who all helped us fulfill our mission.
Brittany @localjoint_az helping set up a table with stimulus packages for pickup.
We’ve compiled some of what we learned from the conversations we had. It’s important to note that we only announced it on Instagram (although we saw it spread to other platforms), and our audience therefore influenced the stats we’ve compiled:
- At the time of our post, our instagram audience was ~22,000 people, made up of 76% men, 24% women.
- The age group of our current followers is:
- 34 or younger: 72%
- 35-44: 20%
- 45-54: 5%
- Age 55+: 3%
- The post had 4,124 impressions.
395 individuals received the stimulus. Of that group, here’s what we learned:
- 98% (387) of individuals reported experiencing challenges with employment, with the majority being under the age of 40.
- 30% have lost their job; 63% (75) of them are under the age of 30 and 34% (42) are between ages 30-39.
- 31% have been furloughed; 48% (59) of them are under the age of 30 and 34% (41) are between ages 30-39.
- 23% have reduced hours.
- 13% were either previously unemployed, searching for work, or felt covid-19 was negatively affecting their search for work.
- 70% (275) of individuals shared their age and the industry they work(ed) in.
- 75% (207) of all age groups fall into the food/entertainment/service industries, making this the hardest hit segments.
- 42% (115) are under the age of 30, of which 87 lost their job or have been furloughed.
- 106 individuals reported having at least one child and/or one dependent.
- 57% (60) lost their job or have been furloughed.
- 27% (29) had their hours reduced.
- 19 individuals reported that both they and their spouse/partner lost their job or were furloughed.
“I am a 26 year old disabled epilepsy/organ donor recipient patient who’s access to medication is being hit hard from this whole covid-19 virus.”
“Buying the quality meds I need for my medical issues is having to take a back burner while I make sure we have enough money for the other essentials for me and my daughter. My boyfriend has MS and with people panic buying its been extra hard to find the strains that really work for him to provide relief so that he can function and have a better quality of life.”
“I can go without meds for a bit, it’s not unbearable, but my son suffers from severe depression and anxiety, a day without meds for him is not a good day.”
“Right now both my parents and I are looking at 6 weeks of potentially no pay after these final checks and are just doing whatever we can to get by. I worry about my mother, who has Lupus and could be affected rather dramatically if she were to catch this virus.”
“I use cannabis to help me with my chronic pain. I’ve actually gotten off the majority of my prescriptions since starting smoking. Unfortunately, I don’t have the money to buy any right now because I’m scrambling trying to make rent.”
“I just beat stage 4 cancer about a year ago and a half ago, it has been hard to get back to working after it and now I’m out of luck.”
“We just lost my aunt today on top of everything else… There will not be a funeral and we barely got to say goodbye.”
“My father has been furloughed so I have stepped up and taken responsibility for a few of their bills. I have put every dollar I can afford towards taking care of my family.”
In closing, the stimulus was a fulfilling and inspiring experience for us. We hope to continue paying it forward, like many in our community already do, and hope it inspires other individuals and organizations in the cannabis community to do so as well.