The Kiva Cares Project represents one of America’s premier cannabis edible companies taking a new approach to giving back to the patients that got them into the legal era.

Kiva is, of course, one of the state’s premier edible companies. Founded in 2010, the same year as its main early competitor, the chocolate wars would last for years, as they competed to offer the best chocolate possible to patients. And the lead would change every now and then, but then the Terra Bites dropped. 

When the Blueberry Terra Bites first dropped, it was like adding nitrous to a race car that was already basically winning, depending on what turn it was on. Kiva stormed to the front of the edible pack period once those dropped. They’ve never looked back. 

That’s the energy they’re taking into the program launch, which is fantastic. Why? Because it’s not like they need to bullshit us with compassion; they’re already the biggest dog. Sure some devil’s advocate might argue it’s an imaging thing, but people using the C word (compassion) to push their business is nothing new. Much of the time, the claims will come from the middle to bottom of the pack, not the top. 

And much of the time we see the C word come up in a cannabis business sense, it’s very focused on the person saying it talking about their own compassion. Even worse, sometimes compassion just means old weed you can’t sell. 

But not in Kiva’s case. The Cares Project will represent what they call a first-of-its-kind corporate commitment, and they promise the weed won’t be expired like some are, it will be “30 days till BBD date/COA expiration date to California Medical patients in need of these essential products. Kiva and the Kiva Cares Project aim to establish a new industry standard to prevent cannabis waste,” the announcement noted. 

Kivas notes they’re hoping to compel other cannabis brands across the country to follow suit. You can expect them to expand the program to other states in the not-too-distant future. 

The plan was spearheaded by Erika Osueke who serves as the brand’s quality and compliance manager. From her perch within the company, it was clear to Osueke how much product was being wasted every year. The waste was coming from things like packaging defects, being under or over potency, or are soon to expire. The actual contents were still perfectly viable medicine for patients that needed it. The team felt these products would be a great mechanism to help people who couldn’t afford it and they kicked off the Cares Project. 

“The cannabis industry has the power and potential to serve public health in a way that is both unique and revolutionary,” said Osueke. “We are only scratching the surface of scaling the kind of life-changing impact cannabis can have for those consumers who need it most.”

Kiva has teamed up with a bunch of the state’s biggest cannabis compassion organizations to help facilitate everything. The list includes Americans for Safe Access, Los Angeles NORML, and ReCompass. Those organizations will partner with dispensaries to facilitate the actual distribution in a legal way. SC Labs and Anresco Laboratories will be donating their testing services to the products running through the program. 

“Sweetleaf and Team Compassion are excited to be a part of the Kiva Cares Project,” said Joe Sweetleaf, founder of Sweetleaf Collective. “These collective industry efforts will undoubtedly help thousands of veterans and patients access $1.75 million worth of free medical cannabis products through the Kiva Cares Project. Together we are saving and transforming lives.”

Sean Kiernan of Weed for Warriors pointed to Senate Bill 34 making all this possible. 

“SB34 is about legal cannabis access for patients. Very simply, without cannabis access, California veteran and nonveteran patients would be forced to medicate with pharmaceuticals that have FDA stated risk of addiction, overdose, death and suicidal ideation,” Kiernan said.  “Cannabis and SB34 is providing a safer alternative and therefore saving lives.”


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