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Michigan’s Lume Cannabis plans $50k community reinvestment


It’s not a new practice, but it can certainly be a smart business move to spend a little extra money to build up community goodwill, particularly for marijuana retailers eager to be accepted by their neighbors.

It’s in that spirit that Michigan-based Lume Cannabis Co. – which has 38 retail locations across the state, according to the company website – announced that it would be putting $50,000 towards several community programs in the Detroit suburb of Holly, where one of its shops is located.

Lume Cannabis is giving $10,000 to the Holly parks department and another $7,000 for new playground equipment, according to a news release, along with additional portions of its Holly location’s annual sales.

As a thank you gesture, Holly town manager Jerry Walker said in a statement that Lume Cannabis “has been an incredible partner since their doors opened” in September last year.

“The company’s investment in our community is allowing us to create family-friendly amenities at our parks,” Walker said. “With this funding, we also will be able to support a scholarship for those pursuing college degrees to become police officers and firefighters as well as Fourth of July fireworks.”

Lume Chief Operating Officer Doug Hellyar added in the announcement that the company is “dedicated to being a good neighbor,” and said it’s the least the company could do since the town has been “so welcoming” for the cannabis business.

There’s a lengthy tradition in the cannabis industry of such philanthropy, in part due to the roots of the medical marijuana movement in the 1990s, which began as a community of caregivers in the San Francisco Bay Area dedicated to relieving the suffering of AIDS patients.

Close ties to local leaders also provide marijuana businesses with a measure of security, given the federal illegality of cannabis and the long-tenuous legal nature of the trade.

Lume apparently knows it, too. The $50,000 gift to Holly is at least the fourth in a string of such charitable moves it has made since 2022 to municipalities that its dispensaries call home.

In September 2022, Lume donated staff time to a community clean up initiative in the town of Saginaw, in central Michigan, and hosted adoptable dogs and cats from the Kalamazoo Animal Rescue at its shop in the southwestern Michigan city.

And in February this year, Lume gave $25,000 to the Marshfield Medical Center-Dickinson Cancer Center in the town of Iron Mountain, in the Upper Peninsula and near the Wisconsin border.

“Providing relief to people suffering from cancer has been a core part of our mission at Lume Cannabis from day one,” Hellyar said at the time.

That donation also earned the company a shout-out from the Marshfield Clinic Health System in Michigan, whose president said in the release, “We are truly thankful to join with community partners like Lume … Philanthropic offerings like this allow us to add amenities further elevating the comfort and care our patients receive.”

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