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Meet Courtney Mathis and Kelly Perez of Cannabis Doing Good

Today we’d like to introduce you to Courtney Mathis and Kelly Perez.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
Kelly and I co-founded kindcolorado five years ago to help cannabis businesses build social responsibility and community engagement programs. But what we learned, was that even if cannabis companies didn’t have a formalized CSR (Cannabis Social Responsibility) program, there were many that were often doing good, whether they were supporting green initiatives to be kinder to the planet or championing equity programs in their state. More so, there weren’t a lot of opportunities for those companies doing good to be recognized or identified by consumers, communities or other business partners. This is important as more states legalize and as more curious shoppers become actual consumers.

How do new consumers know which companies are doing good?

How do communities identify which companies will be an asset to their neighborhood?

We wanted to create an opportunity for businesses to share their doing good story, to be inspired and collaborate with others to generate positive impact, and to set a standard for best business practice industry-wide. We want to help communities and consumers support cannabis companies doing good.

So we partnered with the team over at PufCreativ to launch Cannabis Doing Good. We started with socials and events nation-wide with the goal of bringing community folks and cannabis folks together. Then, we launched a campaign aimed at showcasing doing good stories from cannabis businesses, cannabis parents, cannabis veterans, cannabis healers and so many more. Finally, we are hosting the Cannabis Doing Good Awards this fall – an opportunity to celebrate those companies having meaningful, measurable positive impact.

All of this a teaser for our Cannabis Doing Good standard to be unveiled in 2020. Sound like a lot? It sounds like a lot to us! As with anything in cannabis, we are knee-deep in mud most days – but with great partners, tremendous patience, and a little bit of humour, we are creating a dialogue, a story, and a standard we believe will shape the industry for years to come.

Has it been a smooth road?
If by smooth, you mean easy or effortless? Not even a little. The excitement, energy and enthusiasm we have received from our industry peers has been immense and something we don’t take for granted. However, it takes a lot of maneuvering and humility to start and run a business in this sector. The market, the regulations, the climate – they all change if not weekly, certainly monthly. These dynamics interwine to create a very unpredictable (albeit sometimes thrilling) industry to work in. Add onto that, a woman-owned business without robust funding and things get really tricky.

Bootstrapping requires a particular amount of perseverance. Bootstrapping in a new industry requires an unreasonable amount of perseverance and trust. Not just by us, but by our families, our peers, colleagues and everyone who supports us and our crazy ideas. We all have to trust that what we are building will yield abundance, not only for us but for our industry and every business who invests in doing good, whether that’s for their people, planet or community. We know being purpose-driven is good for the bottom-line – while also being the feel-good, right thing to do. We just have to prove it.

So the biggest struggle? Staying humble, staying nimble, and working daily to educate and empower companies so that they have the courage to do good – the really meaningful, measurable kind.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Cannabis Doing Good – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
Cannabis Doing Good is a platform that creates opportunities for cannabis and communities to collaborate, to inspire new ways of people, planet and business engagement, and to showcase companies doing good. Imagine a world where consumers, business partners, investors and community members recognize you as a leader in purpose-driven cannabis: generating impact and abundance, reinvesting in those communities most harmed, and creating an industry accountable to the planet. This is the stuff that gets us really excited.

Our company is run by two agencies, kindcolorado, a consulting firm dedicated to building social responsibility programs within the cannabis sector, and PufCreativ, a full-service digital marketing agency serving business across the industry. It’s a love-fest, meaning, we really love working together, supporting each other and building this movement together. I think it shows. Because I think we are the most known for accessibility, our kindness, and – I hope- our fun!

I’m really proud of our events and the community of do-gooders we’ve been able to bring together. This network we are building has happened somewhat organically, in large part, because our message resonates with so many folks in the industry. I’m proud of who we are and what we aim to achieve. I’ll be over the moon when we launch our Cannabis Doing Good standard in 2020. What will set our standard apart is – credibility – born of out of collaboration from both communities and cannabis. Our standard isn’t pre-determined by faceless experts – it’s being built by a gaggle of passionate people from across the country. This really is a movement and its growing every day.

Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
Denver is full of risk-taking, boundary-pushing, creative minds. Doesn’t matter what the industry is, I’ve been able to find out-of-the-box thinking in almost every circle I’ve been in. I think because Denver is home to folks from varying walks of life, it breeds dynamic perspectives.

In the same breath, I can say what I like the least, is the lack of diversity. There could be more color, more culture, in our city. It didn’t always use to be like this and gentrification is certainly playing its role in whitewashing our community. This saddens me. Our art, politics, economy and quality of life are all enhanced when diversity is real, and not just a talked about “nice to have”.

For Kelly and I, it’s paramount that the cannabis industry includes more black and brown leadership. We have the opportunity, privilege and obligation to see to it that this new economic driver actively includes People of Color (POCs). Some may say, Denver is passed that already and that large-scale takeover and big money (already happening in our industry) are going to continue limiting small businesses as well as POC participation. But I have hope. Denver must lead. MUST. We are the example, so let’s get it right.

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Image Credit:
Shamus Lahman – PufCreativ
Katie Burrell – PufCreativ

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