Old Pal is running a nationwide giveback program this holiday season alongside our state partners. We call it our “Compassionate Revolution,” it involves working with regionally-specific nonprofits to serve the communities we operate in.
Compassionate Revolution is headed up by our Retail Execution team, and in this interview we get to hear from Hayley Miller, the VP of Retail Execution. Stay tuned to read about each of the activations throughout the U.S.
We are elated to celebrate and service the local communities we are lucky to be part of.
This interview has been edited for brevity and clarity.
OP: What is the Compassionate Revolution, and what inspired it?
HM: Old Pal is ultimately all about bringing people together – the beauty and importance of shared experiences. We have always strived to be a brand for the people. On the day-to-day, that looks like supplying products that are accessible and approachable to as many folks as possible. At the same time, our keenness to accessibility also informs our belief in equitable and humanitarian treatment for all. Both have been part of our identity since the inception of the brand.
Beyond just producing great cannabis products, we are here to facilitate connection, celebrate community, and encourage people to simply take care of one another.
Between the pandemic and a persistently divisive climate – “coming together” seems more important now than ever before. However, these collective challenges could become an opportunity for some seismic positive change. One of the few great unifiers seems to be the American view on cannabis. 68% of American adults agree that it should be legalized. Medical use of cannabis is legal in 39 states, while the adult-use of cannabis has been approved in DC and 21 states. Change is here, and more is coming. As things open up and our company grows alongside these changes, We have a responsibility to continue to do all we can to bring people together, give back, and do some serious good where possible.
Even small actions can bring forward tremendous change.
And so, this holiday season we have been working alongside our state partners and with our key retailers to do just that! Identify non profit organizations in each of our markets that we can support in their efforts to supply resources to those who need them. Whether that be cannabis, food, clothing, shelter, or even just empathy.
I hope that this program inspires our customers to look for ways they can get involved, (volunteermatch.org is a good place to start). I hope our cannabis community can leave them empowered to continue to spread kindness.
OP: Why is the Compassionate Revolution important to you personally?
I try to ascribe to the golden rule and I believe in the intrinsic good of people. That being said, I am frequently guilty of feeling “too busy,” or “too stretched,” to make significant time to give back. This is a revolution I want to be a part of – and it starts by reminding myself: if I want things to change, I need to be willing to go out and change them. I acknowledge that working in this industry is a great blessing. Many people have been and still are being incarcerated and penalized for cannabis. Therefore I have a responsibility to do something significant with that privilege. At times, the capacity I have to show up feels small at the moment. But feelings are fleeting, and every action still matters. Persistence adds up.
All were affected by the pandemic. We all personally knew or saw suffering, and for many of us it was much closer to home than we are used to. The further in the margins folks situations are, the less possible it is for them to maintain or even access the basics. Fortunately, a lot of relief to these problems are as simple as caring: really seeing individuals, leaning toward them and extending a hand in compassion.
OP: How does Old Pal play a role in the Compassionate Revolution?
HM: I’d like Old Pal to continue to be a conduit for kindness, and to create opportunities that connect people to their communities. When I allow myself to dream a bit, I envision our company being associated with the improvement of humanity’s wellbeing the way Patagonia is associated with fighting climate change. It’s fantastic when companies are mission driven and strive to be catalysts for good.
The brand began this journey with Legalize Humanity, an arm of our soft goods business Old Pal Provisions. Legalize Humanity donated to nonprofits focused on social and environmental justice. This first iteration of the Compassionate Revolution program is an evolution of that. A mobilization of folks in the cannabis community willing to get out and get their hands a little dirty for a good cause.
OP: How can our pals in these cities help support CR? And what about the pals not in those particular cities?
For those of you in places we aren’t yet in, look for ways you can donate your time or resources to make a difference in your city. And, look for people in your own circle who could use some kindness – those seemingly small actions ripple outward and inspire.