Medical Marijuana, Inc (MJNA) recently started to announce some of its public outreach initiatives, revealing that it and its subsidiary and corporate partners not only want to be the number one cannabis companies in the industry, they want to do so as good corporate citizens. Public outreach is a good indicator of corporate maturity and leadership in an organization. Such actions are often the result of a corporate culture that demonstrates a sense of community with those it serves.
The most successful companies understand this sense of civic duty and practice social responsibility as a tenet of core values. The company and its subsidiary and corporate partners are represented by HempMedsPX, which is the exclusive master distributor and contracted marketing company for both CannaVest Corp (CANV) and MJNA.
The company’s products contain cannabidiol (CBD) which is derived from the non-psychoactive industrial hemp. CBD was featured on Dr. Sanjay Gupta’s CNN documentary, WEED which highlighted its ability to treat a form of severe childhood epilepsy known as Dravet Syndrome. Of course the documentary was not intended to be an infomercial and made no mention of CBD from hemp being legally available to parents and families nationwide. But its impact was remarkable all the same.
This unintended information gap led many in need to believe that they would have to take extraordinary steps, possibly illegal steps, to obtain this miraculous compound. There are now “medical marijuana refugees”—families who have uprooted their lives and moved to medical marijuana states so that their children can have access to medical cannabis. HempMedsPX responded by increasing the awareness about and understanding of nationwide CBD availability, but the messaging campaign is far from over.
HempMedsPX can’t make specific medical claims about any of their products, as they are marketed as dietary supplements or, in the case of Cibaderm™, personal care products. As you would expect with any compound that offered the benefits demonstrated in Dr. Gupta’s documentary, there will be individuals that have a desire for it or who are in need of its benefits, but can’t afford it. That’s the next area that HempMedsPX is tackling in its efforts to get hemp-based CBD to the individuals and families who need it most.
Lacking the needed research, and slowed by federal prohibition against marijuana and sanctioning by the FDA, developing pharmaceutical CBD to treat diseases and illnesses is likely to continue to move slowly. So for those looking for healthy and natural alternatives, and for those who want to maximize the benefits of CBD, there are options. Access to dietary supplements that have significant disease fighting properties is not a rare notion; vitamin C and its cancer fighting properties are well documented on the American Cancer Society website and it is available in almost every grocery or drug store. Cannabis is also found on the American Cancer Society website; the cancer-fighting properties of cannabis and cannabinoids are well documented at Cancer.gov (National Cancer Institute) as well. This is most certainly progress, but bureaucratic progress that is agonizingly slow-going for families who can’t afford to wait.
A portion of HempMedsPX’s outreach involves education and participation in industry associations that foster advocacy and policy reform. The company recently participated in the International Drug Policy Reform Conference in which over 1,000 participants worked on strategy to advance the responsible integration of cannabis in the legal, criminal and health reform landscape. One of HempMedsPX’s main messages is to increase the awareness of federally legal hemp-based CBD as a “stop gap” for people and families who otherwise wouldn’t have access to it. HempMedsPX VP of Communications Charles Vest said in the company’s 25 Oct press release that “with recent news about the benefits of cannabidiol, thousands of individuals are actively seeking information on this product.”
HempMedsPX is also taking outreach to a more personal level, as demonstrated by the announcement of a donation to the Hope4Harper mission to fund CDKL5 epilepsy and seizure research. The research is being conducted by Dr. Frances Jensen, Chair of the Department of Neurology at the University of Pennsylvania. Hope4Harper was founded on behalf of Harper Howard who was diagnosed with the rare disease at the age of ten months. The Hope4Harper website says that since starting a regimen of Real Scientific Hemp Oil™ (RSHO™), young Harper’s seizures have been reduced by two-thirds. It is the company’s hope that clinical research on CBD will yield the same results in all seizure disorder-afflicted children as it has in little Harper.
Good corporate stewardship involves a mutually beneficial relationship with a company and the communities it supports. In the case of the companies represented by HempMedsPX, this could very well be a multi-national endeavor as seizure disorders such as CDKL5 are not confined to any borders. I would suspect that with its commitment to core values and outreach, Medical Marijuana, Inc. will continue to advance its legitimacy as, in the words of Dan Ritter, “the largest and arguably most-well established company in the space.” Citation 1