(BUSINESS WIRE) Eaze, the nation’s largest cannabis delivery marketplace, today celebrated the launch of Eaze Compassion, a statewide program to restore medical cannabis access to patients left behind by California’s cannabis laws. Eaze Compassion works directly with a network of compassionate care organizations and brands to help carry out the intent of Senator Scott Wiener’s SB 34, the Dennis Peron and Brownie Mary Act, signed into law in October 2019 by Governor Newsom.
Eaze Compassion bridges the “last mile” between low-income patients and the products they need to survive and thrive. Utilizing Eaze’s statewide network of brands and delivery drivers, Eaze Compassion aggregates donated products and then — working with leading compassion organizations including Weed For Warriors, Operation Evac, This Is Jane Project and Brownie Mary Democratic Club — identifies patients shut out from the legal market by high taxes or residency in the 70% of California jurisdictions where legal cannabis commerce is banned.
Eligibility is determined and verified by Eaze Compassion’s partner organizations based on criteria including income, medical diagnosis, and need. Interested patients can contact Operation Evac, Weed for Warriors, This is Jane Project, Bay Area Americans for Safe Access and Dear Cannabis for information on Eaze Compassion eligibility.
“Many compassion programs folded in the early green rush, leaving behind the very people cannabis was legalized to help,” said Eaze CEO Ro Choy. “Eaze Compassion gives companies an easy way to donate and distribute products they’d otherwise have-to destroy, so I hope even more brands will join the program.”
“Cannabis is medicine. Nobody should be forced to live with the effects of debilitating pain, PTSD, Multiple Sclerosis, or any other illness because they can’t pay or live under a local ban,” said Senator Wiener, “I thank Eaze and the many organizations that are donating cannabis for helping make the Dennis Peron and Brownie Mary Compassionate Care Act a reality for patients.”
“If we don’t donate unused product, we’re forced to destroy it under California’s rules. That’s heartbreaking given all the care and natural resources that go into every Fumé flower,” said Eric Sklar, CEO of Fumé Brands, which has distributed over 8,000 units to patients through Eaze Compassion. “Donating is a win-win — for us, because our plants are doing the most good, and for low-income patients, who can now access safe, legal medicine for free.”
The program relies on donations from licensed cannabis brands; those who’ve stepped up to participate include S*SHOTS, SF Roots, Fume’s Lake Grade, Island, and Tempo.
“Partnering with Eaze Compassion has been momentous for This is Jane Project! Eaze’s seamless onboarding and delivery process, plus the dedication of their team members, was a game changer in facilitating no cost cannabis donations for women and non-binary trauma survivors, said Shannon DeGrooms, Executive Director of This Is Jane Project, “A market that excludes patients is bogus. Together with partners like Eaze, we are committed to doing something about it.”
Before Proposition 64, California had established and successful compassionate care programs. Under Prop 215, medical providers could donate cannabis free of charge to low income patients. Prop 64 eliminated compassionate care by taxing donations just like sales, which added a ~$1,000 state tax to every pound of cannabis donated to patients.
It took two years of organizing, advocating, and lobbying to return Compassionate Care programs to California through Senate Bill 34. The bill was vetoed by Jerry Brown in 2018, then signed by Governor Newsom in October 2019.
Known for solutions that yield results, Seth Yakatan has completed or advised on acquisitions and corporate finance transactions totaling over $3 billion. He is CEO of Katan Associates International—a financial strategy and merchant banking firm specializing in commercialization and asset monetization—especially those within life-science and e-commerce sectors.