In addition to being fair-trade, vegan, and extremely delicious, Leif Goods’ cannabis-infused chocolate bars have an added ingredient that warms the heart: compassion.
Portland, Oregon, cannabis chocolatiers and edible producers, Leif Goods, are donating $1 to Kids in Need of Defense (KIND) for each bar sold in participating dispensaries. KIND, a non-profit founded by Angelina Jolie and Microsoft, provides legal representation to unaccompanied minors and refugee children who have been separated from their families at the US-Mexico border.
Leif Goods co-owner Carrie Solomon told Marijuana.com that she and her partner, Jody Ake, felt compelled to do something in the face of “an inhumane situation.”
Since the Trump administration declared its “zero tolerance” immigration policy, authorities have detained more than 2,300 migrant children and placed them in detention centers around the country.
Although Trump overturned the policy through an executive order on June 19, it doesn’t address the how to reunify the children and parents who have already been separated.
Solomon and Ake wanted to help, and they saw Leif Goods as a way of doing so.
“We wanted to help an organization that is working on the ground and in the courtroom for children who have been separated from their families,” said Solomon, a former New Yorker City designer and creative director before moving to Portland in 2010.
“We’re not really doing any PR [for the campaign]except in our own social media, but we have a following of customers who feel like they’re contributing to a good cause.”
The response has been, mostly, positive.
“If we lose a few people,” she shrugged, “it will still have been worth it.”
A walk through Leif’s four-person chocolate factory evokes a rich, sweet aroma that permeates through the air and reminds one of “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” although without the sputtering kettles and hissing pipes snaking up the walls.
Leif Goods was founded in April 2014, and was initially in the medical marijuana market until March 2017, when it launched in the recreational market and moved into a new location. Ake, a professional photographer, and Solomon say they have always been interested in social causes and protecting the environment.
“We wanted to encourage people in all areas of the cannabis industry to use their influence and to stand on the right side of history,” said Ake, 48.
The couple’s candy bar donation campaign kicked off in mid-June 2018 with one shop, Farma, a well-known dispensary and Leif’s biggest customer, participating in Portland.
By the end of the month, other dispensaries got involved in Portland and Eugene, Oregon. The campaign initially started with chocolate bars, but cannabis shops are now including donations from the sale of all of Leif’s products, including Junk brand confections and Physic topicals.
A trip by Marijuana.com to Portland’s Farma dispensary confirmed that the chocolate bars are indeed moving.
“Oh yes, they’re selling. People are happy to know that they’re donating toward an important cause,” Farma budtender, Chris Diana-Peebles, told Marijuana.com.
Tim Blanchard, another Farma budtender, added “When I tell people about Leif Good’s donation to KIND, they always support it.”