Social + environmental benefits are good business for cannabis company

Giving back is a way of doing business for Reef stores

Today’s top businesses know that to be successful longterm, goals must reach beyond financial rewards. More and more, there’s a recognition that a triple bottom line approach – with an attention to social and environmental successes, in addition to financial ones – is simply good business.

It’s a belief at the core of The Reef cannabis stores, in Seattle and Bremerton. With owners and manager all local – all three grew up in the neighbourhood – they get the importance of community, says manager John Ueding.

“Giving back to the community is extremely important to us.”

The Social Impact

For community: This fall, the Reef launched a charitable giving program that donates 5 percent of all profits to three local charities touching on social, environmental and animal issues. The charities will rotate quarterly, but first up are Lifelong, Washington Wild and Old Dog Haven. At check-out, customers simply choose which they’d like to support with their purchase, Ueding explains. “Our customers really like that they have the opportunity to direct the donation, and it doesn’t cost any more.”

For staff: Fair wages and benefits for staff are also key to the Reef’s approach, with full-time employees receiving 100 per cent of their health insurance paid for. “We want the best employees our business has to offer – and we want to keep them with us – so it’s important that we provide them with liveable wages and benefits,” Ueding says.

For customers: Continuing that community-minded philosophy, The Reef also offers a 10 percent discount to both medical cannabis patients and to teachers, and a 25 percent discount for veterans.

The Environmental Impact

Recognizing the value customers also place on environmental considerations, The Reef offers a well-curated list of quality growers and has begun pesticide testing by all vendors. “We have a lot of environmentally conscious customers and this makes a difference to them,” Ueding says.

The Customer Experience

This community-minded philosophy stretches into the atmosphere at the store and to the service customers enjoy. “We want our customers and guests to feel at home, and we offer two different experiences, depending on their needs,” Ueding says

Experienced cannabis users who know what they’re looking for can shop online or make their selections from the in-store iPads, then check out and pay with a Reef team member.

Others newer to cannabis or who have questions about new products, are encouraged to speak with one of the Reef’s knowledgeable budtenders.

“For those who need a little more advice, we encourage them to take their time and ask questions – that’s what we’re here for,” Ueding says.

Visit The Reef daily from 8 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. at 1525 E. Olive Way in Capitol Hill in Seattle, and in Bremerton from 8 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. Monday to Saturday, and 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday. Check them out on Facebook and Instagram!

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