Cannabis industry players in Detroit and San Francisco demonstrate support for war-torn Ukraine


Ukraine Flag on cannabis background. Drug policy. Legalization of marijuana

As the war rages on in Ukraine, U.S.-based cannabis businesses are making a stand to support people in communities that have been worst-inflicted by the conflicts.

The bloodshed and destruction kicked off on February 24, when Russia invaded Ukraine its smaller neighbor. Two months of border massing ensued, before the two nations collided and a humanitarian crisis erupted.

Based on a new report by the UN’s human rights office, 564 civilians, including 41 children, have lost their lives in Ukraine since the Russian intrusion began.

As the U.S. cannabis market continues to flourish amid Ukraine’s battering from Russia, many business owners are feeling the urge to do something. In particular, cannabis dispensaries in Detroit and San Francisco are making their efforts known.

Cannabis companies donate to Ukraine: San Francisco’s MediThrive 

In San Francisco, California, MediThrive dispensary is raising money that will be donated to the Sunflower of Peace. 

A nonprofit organization based in Massachusetts, MediThrive was founded in 2014 with the intent of supporting Ukrainian orphans and internally displaced people across the country.

“Due to the current crisis in Ukraine, Sunflower of Peace started a new fundraiser to provide medical and humanitarian aid that will be used by the paramedics and doctors in the areas that are affected by the violence in Ukraine,” reads a statement on Sunflower of Peace’s website.

“We are acquiring and distributing first-aid backpacks, medicine, medical instruments and other means of survival that are saving hundreds of lives. These supplies meant the world to people affected by violence when we started our first fundraiser in 2015, and they mean the world to all Ukrainians now.”

Chief executive officer (CEO) of the company Misha Breyburg identifies as an Ukrainian Jewish refugee. When Breyburg was just a child, he immigrated to the United States from Odessa.

“This hits especially close to home, especially for Jewish Ukrainians. I couldn’t live with myself if I didn’t do something,” he expressed during an interview with reporters from the Jewish News of Northern California.

Breyburg’s dispensary is easy to spot, with the exterior of his brick-and-mortar store currently displaying the Ukrainian national flag’s colors blue and yellow. Customers can find his store snuggled into the Mission District.

Sunflower Peace will be on the receiving end of 10 percent of the company’s cannabis sales through March 13. As of Monday, March 7, Breyburg revealed that the fundraising effort was already “in the high five figures.” He described the feeling as “incredible.”

“While many charitable efforts focus on providing Ukraine with food and military aid, the medical professionals responding to the crisis in Ukraine struggle to treat the wounded and sick. They require more medical and survival supplies,” reads a statement from MediThrive.

Cannabis companies donate to Ukraine: Detroit’s MediThrive 

A 35-hour drive away in Detroit, Michigan is cannabis dispensary and cultivation facility Luxury Loud. In an effort to make a difference to Ukrainians that have been impacted by the war, the cannabis company is collaborating with Srodek’s Quality Polish Food for a Pot and Pierogies fundraiser for Ukraine.

UNICEF a humanitarian aid organization that raises money to assist the children of Ukraine bagged a generous 100 percent of Luxury Loud’s sales on Sunday, March 13. The fundraising event also saw Srodek’s food truck serve attendees with a delectable concoction of complimentary pierogies and kielbasa in return for donations.

The war between Russia and Ukraine has hit hard for the company’s cultivating and engineering manager Marko Malinowski, as well as his brother Christian Malinowski. Why? These Ukrainian Americans are active social members of Detroit’s Ukrainian community.

“It’s a little more unique,” said Malinowski during a discussion with reporters at the Detroit Free Press. “Pot and Pierogi kind of catches people’s attention for some reason, and they do go well together actually.”

Ukraine is also receiving financial support from cannabis public relations firm Mattio Communications. The company has insisted on matching donations via a social media campaign.

“As we watch in horror as violence and heartbreak spreads through Ukraine, the need for action has never been greater,” reads a written statement from the company to High Times. 

“The Mattio Communications team will be matching all donations made to the United Nations Refugee Agency, Kyiv Independent, Voices of Children, Amnesty International and CARE Ukraine Crisis Fund up to $3,000. Simply make your donation, and send a screenshot to @MattioCommuncations on Instagram.”