Jamaica Joel’s: Strengthening Our Community
Jamaica Joel’s, one of Eugene, Oregon’s premier cannabis retail locations, is doing their best to combat industry waste and to give back to their local community.
Author – Max Richardson-Davis
Edited by Noah Persin & Jon Russell
Jamaica Joel’s is one of Eugene, Oregon’s premier dispensaries. With Rastafarian decor, an incredibly friendly staff and some of the town’s most affordable prices, Jamaica Joel’s is a rightful fan favorite amongst many Eugenians. Personally, the shop holds a place dear to my heart as it was the first medicinal marijuana shop I ever made a purchase from. Now, it is an OLCC recreational licensed retail shop catering to any consenting adult with a valid form of identification 21 and over.
What’s most interesting about Jamaica Joel’s, besides their high-quality cannabis products, are their philanthropic efforts. The dispensary hosts a monthly clean-up where employees, customers and local community members participate in cleaning trash from public spaces. Their first cleaning effort took place Oct. 29, 2016, at Skinner’s Butte where they picked up over thirty trash bags full of garbage. Their next is set to take place at the Washington-Jefferson rose garden on Dec. 17th, 2016 at 1 PM. Everyone is welcome to attend and help the dispensary staff to clean up the garden with them.
Their efforts do not end with group clean-ups. The dispensary is known for their charitable in-store efforts too. For example, right now if you bring in a blanket, coat or 5 cans of food to donate you will receive 20% off your purchase. This sale will last until Christmas day, when the dispensary will give their collections to a number of local charities including Food for Lane County. Should the donation drive garner a positive response, the sale may extend past Christmas, according to owner Travis Higbee.
The dispensaries philanthropic efforts don’t end there. They also support protesters at Standing Rock through the “Stand with Standing Rock” national donation drive. Customers are free to bring any and all things they would like to donate to those at Standing Rock to the dispensary. The dispensary will guarantee their arrival to those at Standing Rock, free of charge.
Beyond charitable donations, the cannabis retailer is also an avid music sponsor. Sponsoring events at Hi-Fi Music Hall with bands like Object Heavy and SolSeed, Higbee and his employees are all music lovers, and hope to help local bands establish themselves through a number of different mediums.
What may be most interesting about Jamaica Joel’s is why they have chosen to participate in such charitable causes.
According to Mattie Sleeth, the Jamaica Joel’s marketing coordinator, the dispensary acts charitably because it wants to, not because it has to. She says, “With the newly imposed packaging requirements, dispensaries like ours are forced to create waste. We wish we could go all green, but the fact is, it isn’t our choice. It is up to the companies we sell, who do their own packaging, and the state legislature for the rules our dispensary must follow. And, while we may not have a choice in packaging requirements, we certainly have a choice in deciding whether or not we want to be active in helping our community. Of course, we do! The goal with our charity drives and monthly clean-up parties is to give back as best we can.”
In GreenSea’s “Philanthropy in the Cannabis Community” series, marketing coordinator Jon Russell discussed how challenging it can be for cannabis companies to donate to charities, with many national foundations refusing donations altogether due to the federally illicit status of the cannabis plant. Luckily, local charities in Eugene seem pretty open to receiving any help they can get, allowing Jamaica Joel’s and other cannabis philanthropists based in Eugene to donate publicly.
We at GreenSea would like to commend Jamaica Joel’s for their charitable efforts, showing how great a role cannabis companies can truly play in their local communities.