When many people look at the legal cannabis industry from the outside, much of what they see is the money being made,

largely the tax revenues. With much of that revenue going to school programs, drug-use prevention programs, and state and local infrastructure, there’s no doubt states that have legalized cannabis are benefiting financially from doing so.

However, many on the outside don’t see the other benefits cannabis businesses are bringing to their communities. Kindness and community involvement abound.

For starters, the feature “Compassion Programs and Cannabis Go Hand-in-Hand” shows how several cannabis companies and organizations are providing assistance to patients, including veterans, in need. Whether providing free or subsidized medication, or programs that provide jobs to veterans, this feature shows an extremely caring side of the cannabis industry.

In the cover story, Trulieve’s leadership team talks of patient-driven business decisions, personal patient care and the heavy responsibility felt in providing medication to vulnerable patients. Most medical cannabis businesses seem to feel this weighty obligation as well.

In this month’s “10 Questions” interview, GFive Cultivation’s Larry Smith and Shawn Holman make it a priority to support their home community. After budget cuts in the ’80s and ’90s put an end to many after-school programs in low-income neighborhoods, Smith and Holman are working toward reform, and have already built a learning center with community and educational programs for kids.

And as noted in an online article CBT published about the California wildfires, CannaCraft is helping rebuild its community by “donating more than $40,000 of medical cannabis products to patients who have been displaced or evacuated, and a portion of all CannaCraft sales will be donated to the Red Cross to aid local relief efforts. CannaCraft is also hosting the Red Cross at its Santa Rosa facility.”

We know of countless other cannabis businesses that support charities, community development initiatives and more. It seems cannabis and compassion do go hand-in-hand, especially when it comes to medical cannabis. In fact, as Cresco Labs CEO and co-founder Charles Bachtell suggests in the “Compassion Programs” feature, “Philanthropy and the medical focus have to be part of why you’re doing this, or you won’t be successful.”

The legal cannabis industry has a lot of battles to fight, but still, amidst all of them, so many of these businesses place a priority on making their communities better.

At the rate states are legalizing both medical and adult-use cannabis, this means lots of new businesses of all scopes and sizes will emerge, and I look forward to the significant impact this industry will collectively make on communities nationwide.