What is the Jetty Extracts Shelter Project?
We started the Shelter Project in 2014 to give free cannabis to cancer patients, helping 1,000+ Californians get the medicine they need, with a simple doctor verification and proof of CA residency. Ironically, after cannabis became regulated in CA in 2018, legal requirements and taxes made it nearly impossible for compassion programs like Shelter to operate. Senator Weiner introduced new legislation (CB34) which we’re optimistic will gain support of Gov. Newsom. In the meantime we continue to support Shelter in a limited way at significant cost. Anyone can help and join us on our Cannabis for Good Tour this summer and sign the petition!
How did Prop 64 change the cannabis community in CA? What challenges are businesses facing in terms of licenses, taxes and bureaucracy?
Prop 64 has given more retail access to cannabis, and removed some crimes associated overall. But it’s had a negative effect in other ways. The fees for cannabis companies to produce and operate are prohibitively high, and the state and local taxes are so high that many customers prefer to spend their money in the unregulated, unlicensed market (which may or may not be tested for purity or accuracy of dosing, and may not be safe to consume). The BCC didn’t give out enough licenses across all license types, so we’re seeing bottlenecks , across the board, from cultivation and distribution, to retail and manufacturing. We've had many Shelter patients who complain that their symptoms have worsened, that the cancer has relapsed, and some have even lost their lives since we were forced to pause our project.
Jetty's #CannabisForGood Tour makes these issues visible, creating widespread awareness of the current crisis that medical cannabis patients are facing. Very few people other than those directly impacted truly understand the profoundly negative impact Prop 64 is having on Compassionate Care. Our Cannabis For Good tour brings together brands, retail staff, consumers and the general public in a positive way to engage in civics through petition-signing, postcard-mailing and sticker/pin-wearing activations to spur conversation and shed light on the vital need for the passage of SB34.
The plan is to travel around California and deliver the petition scroll to Governor Newsom in Sacramento at the end of the summer. We'll be driving our famous Jetty Van, stopping at partner retailers to promote the bill. We offer a free PAX Era device with any $5 donation to the cause. We can personalize the PAX with our nifty laser-engraver. Oh, there are amazing product discounts on Jetty Extracts’ Pax Pod concentrates.
Who have been some of your heroes in compassionate cannabis? How do their stories inspire you to be an activist and continue their legacy?
The late, great SF activists Dennis Peron & Brownie Mary, Joe Sweetleaf, Ryan Miller of Operation EVAC, Shelter Project founder Lindsey & Nina Parks. They are heros because they show up, speak out & dedicate their lives, selflessly, to serving those in need despite the great risk and expense to do so!
What's your background and your transition from teaching to working in the cannabis industry. What values do you bring to the industry and why are integrity and compassion important for you?
I'm a passionate grassroots advocate and continue my involvement in local and state policy equity programs, regulatory compliance with a long history of cause-based civil engagement. This has aided Jetty’s Shelter Project to give-back to underserved groups in need. Core values: Integrity, Sustainability, Diversity, Honor, Stewardship, Unity. I left the public school classroom to help nurture cannabis businesses to become stable, successful, cause-driven entities like Jetty, who align with my core values of heartfelt compassion and service.
What is your vision for the future of the cannabis industry?
One where equity and compassion were prioritized. My vision is for a just industry that builds on the compassionate roots of the movement for medicine, and doesn’t just commodify it as a material good, when it has spiritual qualities, and time-honored ceremonial uses across many cultures across the world. If those in power on the local and state levels want to see true access to this healing plant, they must include equity for poor folks, and black and brown people -- not as an after-thought -- but as a central priority when making legislation and setting fees/taxes.
Find tour dates, sign the petition and learn more at https://jettyextracts.com/pages/cannabis-for-good